When drummer Harvey Sorgen met saxophonist Remi Álvarez at the International Musicians Meeting in Monterey, Mexico, he was "taken by his sound, feel and humanity." This is not surprising. Álvarez has cut a wide swath both on record and in live performances as an adventurer who is not afraid to take risks without losing focus. Sorgen, who has blazed his own trail adding to the dynamics with his sense of rhythm and pulse and abetting the music of vibraphonist/pianist Karl Berger, trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and trumpeter Herb Robertson among others, recognized a kindred soul. As for Joe Fonda, the bass virtuoso has the stylistic flexibility to build robust lines or fragment them and skitter around and into the path of the soloist to elevate a composition.
Álvarez is the centrifugal force, bringing crisp intensity and sweetness in equal measure. He is trenchant, cutting deep into "Dancing With the Forest" with phrases that jump and curl seeking a groove and then dispensing with it to create an array of effects. Sorgen steps up to the complexity with a broad spectrum of color that melds into the saxophone while Fonda infuses rumbling lines to give the triangle congruent shape.
The pastoral "Talachas" offers contrast with its lyrical air. Álvarez leans into the melody, his flute dipping into the nuances to flesh the body. His arcs and swoops impact, and when his trajectory gets more pronounced on the swell of improvisation the effect is dynamic.
"Falling Up The Stairs" opens as a warm coaxing ballad on the tenor saxophone, with Fonda's bass cleaving to the melodic line as Álvarez continues his forlorn cry. The understatement works, particularly with the rhythm section keeping the bottom ticking right through the churning angularity that Álvarez brings in to complete his journey.
Each member of the trio is integral to the whole as concept becomes reality and the search for the unusual is met with expectancy and fulfillment.
Track Listing: Dancing With the Forest; Falling up the Stairs; Ofrenda; Arriving at Cariddi; Verge; Talachas; Entropy; Tower; Responsibility of Desire; Our Friend Kevin; In the Shadows; Tepache.
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet
I was first exposed to jazz in 1961 (at age 10) when I was in a shopping arcade in Southport, England with my parents. I fell in love with the music playing over the PA system; Take Five by the Dave Brubeck Quartet. After going through Rock 'n Roll, the Beatles and Heavy Metal/Hard Rock phases over the next eight or so years, I finally bought my first jazz album; We're All Together Again for the First Time by Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Gerry Mulligan. I was hooked on jazz, and still am 40+ years later.
I moved from England to the USA in 2002, and founded the Brookfield Jazz Society in 2005.
I became editor of the quarterly IAJRC Journalin 2012. The magazine goes to the worldwide membership of the IAJRC (International Association of Jazz Record Collectors) and many major libraries and educational establishments around the world.
As well as being the editor of the IAJRC Journal, I write about jazz and review CDs, vinyl, DVDs and books on jazz.
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