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Luis Lascano: Some Trips

Dan Bilawsky By

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Luis Lascano may call New York home now, but his music still speaks strongly of his Argentinian origins. On this debut, the bassist delivers six enchanting modern jazz numbers delivered with strong South American accents.

Some Trips opens on "El Mandril," a number that lives at the intersection of elegance and allure. Violinist Sergio Reyes and multi-reedist Sam Sadigursky have starring roles here, and both personify those aforementioned traits. Things then take a turn toward the mournful as a downcast arco line, backed by the deep thud of a drum, ushers in "El Arlequin." Natalia Bernal's Spanish vocals cast a strong spell over the ears, trumpeter Kirk Knuffke threatens to steal the show with a spellbinding solo display, and a backing string trio adds some fine touches to the piece.

As the album continues, Lascano reveals different facets of his artistry. He revels in the opportunity to play with layered entrances, focal shifts, and odd metered construction ("Insistiendo"); he works a pseudo-Brazilian angle that turns toward a rock feel in its final act ("Potassium"); he gives Bernal an encore performance that's every bit as enchanting as her first feature ("La Rana Naranja"); and he sets up the groove on the album closer with some slick bass work ("Pedro Damian"). Each track features a different crew of extras, but the presence of a core group—Lascano, Sadigursky, drummer Ignacio Rivas Bixio, and pianist Emilio Teubal—helps to create a consistent sound.

One of the biggest strengths of Some Trips is the way that it balances big picture and small picture outlooks. Lascano writes like a master cameraman: he captures full scenes, focuses in on specific characters central to the plot line, pans in different directions to emphasize movement or turns in the story, and pulls back to reveal the grand scheme(s).

Track Listing: El Madril; El Arelquin; Insistiendo; Potassium; La Rana Naranja; Pedro Damian.

Personnel: Luis Lascano: bass; Emilio Teubal: piano; Ignacio Rivas Bixio: drums; Sam Sadigursky: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, flute; Tomas Murmis: guitar (1, 5); Kirk Knuffke: trumpet (2, 3, 5, 6); Sergio Reyes: violin (1); Brian Drye: trombone (4); Eric Kuriminski: guitar (2, 5, 6); Adam Fischer: cello (2); Machiko Ozawa: violin (2); Natalia Bernal: vocals (2, 5); Italo Cunha: guitar (3, 4); Eden Bareket: tenor saxophone (6).

Title: Some Trips | Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Self Produced

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