Learn How

Help improve All About Jazz

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz needs your help and we have a deal. For $20, we'll hide those pesky Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

2

Albert Vila: Standards

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Albert Vila: Standards Just because a record doesn't have many surprises doesn't mean it must be predictable or prosaic, a line of thinking for which Albert Vila's Standards makes a good case. The Barcelona-based guitarist delivers a program of well-known material from the likes of compositional giant Cole Porter, saxophone legend John Coltrane, piano icon Bill Evans and other top-tier figures , hewing close to the norm without giving off a been-there-done-that vibe.

The biggest surprise here may actually be the fact that Vila went in the standards direction in the first place. When the young guitarist returned home from his musical studies in America in 2007, he began to focus on his own modern jazz material, as documented on a pair of quintet dates—Foreground Music (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2007) and Tactile (Fresh Sound New Talent, 2011). On Standards, Vila leaves this left-leaning path and takes a turn toward the center, as he trims things down to a trio and tackles the known, with some help from hometown veteran drum hero Jorge Rossy and bassist Reinier 'Negrón' Elizarde.

Vila and his trio mates don't try to reinvent the wheel as they move through this familiar material. Instead, they let quick reflexes, strong instincts and chemistry carry the day. This is most evident in quiet spaces ("Soul Eyes") and smoking places ("It's Alright With Me"), but it also becomes clear when the group simply settles into a hip groove ("Summer Night") and rides that wave in. A faster than usual take on Evans' "Very Early" adds a new wrinkle to that particular story without drastically changing the story itself, and Vila caps this set with one original statement, "One Hundred Years Of Solitude." On this number, he vividly paints a musical picture that captures the agony and ecstasy that exists in author Gabriel García Márquez's legendary book of the same name.

While the quintet format suited Vila when he charted his own path, the trio works just as well as he takes the road more traveled. Elizarde uses a flexible, less-is-more approach to playing and Rossy, who's kept a low profile since departing America and the employ of pianist Brad Mehldau, is ever-sensational; he may not be recording nearly as often these days, but he still appears to be in fine form.

Vila's first two albums were about present-to-future explorations, but Standards is something else all together; this is old world music delivered with a modern day mentality.


Track Listing: East Of The Sun; Very Early; Soul Eyes; It's Alright With Me; Summer Night (Intro); Summer Night; 26-2; You're My Everything; One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Intro); One Hundred Years Of Solitude.

Personnel: Albert Vila: guitars; Reinier Elizarde: bass; Jorge Rossy: drums.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Quadrant Records


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Hear & Now CD/LP/Track Review Hear & Now
Read Known-Unknown CD/LP/Track Review Known-Unknown
Read Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival CD/LP/Track Review Live At Vilnius Jazz Festival
Read Stinger CD/LP/Track Review Stinger
Read Binary CD/LP/Track Review Binary
Read Piano Song CD/LP/Track Review Piano Song
Read "Solstice" CD/LP/Track Review Solstice
Read "Lovers" CD/LP/Track Review Lovers
Read "One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio" CD/LP/Track Review One: Detroit-Cleveland Trio
Read "Garden 2nd Set" CD/LP/Track Review Garden 2nd Set
Read "To The Universe" CD/LP/Track Review To The Universe
Read "Verde" CD/LP/Track Review Verde

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Get Jazz Near You via email!

Enjoy the convenience of receiving a comprehensive listing of jazz events in your area every Thursday. It's free!