156

Silvano Monasterios: Unconditional

Greg Simmons By

Sign in to view read count
Silvano Monasterios: Unconditional Miami pianist Silvano Monasterios' Unconditional doesn't announce its qualities with musical histrionics: it's far subtler than that. This collection of eight original tunes shows craftsmanship, fine improvisation and coherence. Monasterios has constructed a compelling musical statement with an emphasis on composition and attention to detail. This is an entire album, not simply a collection of songs.

Even in places where the percussion is prominent, it is integrated with a vision that never becomes frenetic. There are passages on the album where the double team of drummer Rodolfo Zuniga and percussionist Jose Gregorio Hernandez are playing hard, with a mix of congas and kit that has the potential to be really loud. But nothing ever gets out of hand, remaining, instead, within the framework and relaxed feel of the songs.

Attention to detail adds discreet appeal to many of the compositions. "Sno' Peas" is a relaxed, mid-tempo workout. But midway through an extended piano improvisation, the drums and bass fall back under a quickened keyboard run—but only momentarily—until the original beat reemerges. It's a smart, subtle bit of composed drama in a place that didn't really require it, but is all the better for it. The album is full of these little touches.

Improvisation is prominent, mostly integrated within a laidback, even romantic atmosphere. But when Monasterios and company cut loose they really stick the delivery. "Forgotten Gods" features an aggressive solo, from tenor saxophonist Troy Roberts, that begins easily enough, but eventually blows like a freight train, deep and heavy, with fast finger-work and a harder-edged bite. It's a great moment—diverging from the overall sound just enough to fulfill the musicians' need to show off a little, but without breaking the established motif.

Unconditional is an album worth hearing all the way through. It never screams for attention, but rewards it very nicely.


Track Listing: Farmacia del Angel; Monsieur Petit Noir; A Song for Jacques, Part I; A Song for Jacques, Part II; Sno' Peas; Forgotten Gods; Unconditional; Black Saint.

Personnel: Silvano Monasterios: piano and keyboards; Troy Roberts: saxophones; Jon Dadurka: bass; Gabriel Vivas: bass (5, 7); Rodolfo Zuniga: drums; Jose Gregorio Hernandez: percussion.

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Savant Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

  • Very Early
    Very Early
    Monasterios Egan Wertico
    Jazz Impressions One
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Pat Metheny Pat Metheny
guitar
Edward Simon Edward Simon
piano
Yellowjackets Yellowjackets
band/orchestra
Dead Cat Bounce
saxophone
Brian VanArsdale Brian VanArsdale
sax, tenor
Christian Tamburr Christian Tamburr
vibraphone
Jim Cutler Jim Cutler
saxophone
Al Molina Al Molina
trumpet

More Articles

Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by Mark F. Turner
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Before The Silence CD/LP/Track Review Before The Silence
by John Sharpe
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Process And Reality CD/LP/Track Review Process And Reality
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 24, 2017
Read Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1 CD/LP/Track Review Masters Legacy Series, Volume 1
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 24, 2017
Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Some Other Time" CD/LP/Track Review Some Other Time
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 21, 2016
Read "Pássaros: The Foundation of the Island" CD/LP/Track Review Pássaros: The Foundation of the Island
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: July 6, 2016
Read "Negative Spaces" CD/LP/Track Review Negative Spaces
by Jerome Wilson
Published: September 8, 2016
Read "Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1" CD/LP/Track Review Strange Voodoo from Electric Salad Studio: Volume 1
by Jack Gold-Molina
Published: November 28, 2016
Read "Portraits and Places" CD/LP/Track Review Portraits and Places
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 31, 2016
Read "Blackwater" CD/LP/Track Review Blackwater
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: September 27, 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!