7

Gustavo Cortiñas: Snapshot

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Gustavo Cortiñas: Snapshot With Snapshot, drummer Gustavo Cortiñas emerges from that challenging rite of passage: the début album. Following years of training (with saxophonist Victor Goines, among others, who is on the record) and sideman duty (on a record with saxophonist Roy McGrath, who also shows up for this date), a young artist seeks to craft a meaningful and representative musical statement and calling card.

The musician has in the short span of the début record's length to establish him or herself as a soloist and instrumentalist, as a bandleader, as a composer, and as a kind of producer, capable of communicating a coherent creative vision. Tall order. Some are tempted to produce a scattershot aural résumé, spanning disparate styles and settings. Many invite too many special guests, diluting the coherence of the record.

Cortiñas smoothly avoids all of these pitfalls. Snapshot is an understated and confident record. The tenor sax chair switches off between Goines and McGrath, but the line-up is otherwise stable and consistent. Both saxophones are forthright voices in a team of equals. The secret hero of the record is guitarist Michael Allemana, a veteran of saxophonist Von Freeman's group, whose varied playing is the substrate holding all of these fine performances together.

In terms of musical temperament, this is a straight-ahead session, not trying to be clever. A case in point is "When I Leave You," marked by mellow guitar work by Allemana. Good group sound, not coyly hip. And though the record could sound conservative and mainstream, at its best moments, adventurous soloing and arrangements prevent things from growing dull. This is most striking on longer cuts like "Skepticism," with its fiery interplay of the horns of trumpeter Justin Copeland and McGrath.

As a drummer, Cortiñas is restrained, marked by the same quiet self-assurance that imbues the record overall. He holds off from any extended soloing or overt displays of technical prowess for several tracks, preferring to lend a variety of rhythmic supports to the group performances. When he does step out front in the solo intro to "Wish I Could Be There Now," he remains controlled and intelligent (mirroring something of the architectural sense of guitarist Allemana's solo on "Skepticism").

The leader's liner notes claim that "Timing Is Everything" is about the good things that come when "the timing is right and it is meant to be." The title could also refer to the timing of the placement of notes in an improviser's solo: Goines and Copeland playfully overdo the daring rhythmic aspects of their solos. More generally, the song and the sentiment it conveys suggest that the time is right for this solid and satisfying record.


Track Listing: Timing Is Everything; When I Leave You; Chimeras; Skepticism; La Balada de León; Hanaki; Wish… (Interlude); Wish I Could Be There Now; When I Leave You (Another Perspective).

Personnel: Justin Copeland: trumpet; Victor Goines: tenor saxophone (1, 5, 8); Roy McGrath: tenor saxophone (2, 3, 4, 6); Michael Allemana: guitar; Kitt Lyles: double bass; Gustavo Cortiñas: drums, cymbals.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Modern Jazz


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Real Talk
Kitt Lyles - independent
2015
buy

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "From Here to There" CD/LP/Track Review From Here to There
by Mark F. Turner
Published: September 11, 2016
Read "Parodies: Jazz Music for Violin and Octet" CD/LP/Track Review Parodies: Jazz Music for Violin and Octet
by Eyal Hareuveni
Published: March 21, 2016
Read "Impulsive Illuminations" CD/LP/Track Review Impulsive Illuminations
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 28, 2016
Read "Dick's Picks Volume Two: Columbus, Ohio 10/31/1971" CD/LP/Track Review Dick's Picks Volume Two: Columbus, Ohio 10/31/1971
by Doug Collette
Published: February 27, 2016
Read "One" CD/LP/Track Review One
by Roger Farbey
Published: April 21, 2016
Read "Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn" CD/LP/Track Review Tony Kadleck Big Band: Around the Horn
by Dr. Judith Schlesinger
Published: November 11, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!