All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Sergio Pamies: What Brought You Here?

Troy Dostert By

Sign in to view read count
On his third release as a leader, pianist Sergio Pamies continues his project of uniting the musical languages of jazz and the flamenco tradition of his native Spain. While his previous release from 2011, Borrachito, had a somewhat stronger emphasis on the latter, on his current record it's mainstream jazz that is the central focus, albeit with some overt gestures reflecting Pamies's Spanish roots as a musician and composer.

Pamies's engagement with the jazz tradition is evident both in terms of repertoire and style. With two Cole Porter covers ("I Get a Kick Out of You" and "All of You") and some straight-ahead swingers ("Our Man Andrew" and "This Is for (Joan) Albert"), Pamies highlights his substantial bop fluency, and his engaging piano statements are harmonically rich and technically adroit, without needless excess: the economy of Pamies's playing leads to some smart, carefully structured solos. And Pamies's compositions are thoughtful and compelling, with strong melodic cores shaped by the romantic sensibility that characterizes his music. A perfect example is the record's title track, which actually appears in three renditions on the album: it's a poignant and affecting melody, nowhere more potent than in Pamies's one-minute unaccompanied statement of the tune, as he showcases his subtle and emotionally rich approach to the keyboard.

There are some strong Latin-influenced moments here as well, reflected especially on tracks like "Bem- Aventurado" and "El Hijo de la Portuguesa," where the addition of Spanish percussion and rhythmic elements allows Pamies to tap into the original roots of his playing. The latter tune is especially irresistible in its danceable feel and energy, with hand- clapping essential to the track's momentum and spirit. And even on "I Get a Kick Out of You," featuring sprightly vocals from Ashleigh Smith (not to mention an impassioned soprano sax solo from Aaron Irwinsky), the strong Latin rhythmic flavor gives the track some distinctive spice.

As good as the individual parts may be, however, the album does feel a bit fragmented. Pamies doesn't really get to work with a "band" on this record, as the only other musician featured on its entirety is bassist Young Heo; instead, there are a host of musicians doing guest spots. While this doesn't detract from the overall caliber of musicianship, as Pamies has made sensible personnel choices, it would have been great to hear him with a particular ensemble from start to finish. And some listeners might question the need for a third rendition of "What Brought You Here?" to close the album, as the rather syrupy smooth-jazz arrangement becomes cloying by its conclusion.

Slight shortcomings aside, however, the record shows clearly that Pamies has a finely-honed vision as a composer, and his ability to do justice to both halves of his musical equation is unmistakable.

Track Listing: 1) What Brought You Here? (Intro); 2) Our Man Andrew featuring Quamon Fowler; 3) I Get a Kick Out of You (Verse); 4) I Get a Kick Out of You featuring Ashleigh Smith and Samuel Torres; 5) Bem-Aventurado; 6) Aún No Te Conozco featuring Pete Clagett; 7) All of You featuring Clay Pritchard; 8) What Brought You Here? (Trio); 9) El Hijo de la Portuguesa featuring Brad Kang; 10) This is for (Joan) Albert; 11) Faltando Um Pedaço featuring Lara Bello; 12) What Brought You Here? (Reprise) featuring Quamon Fowler.

Personnel: Young Heo: Acoustic Bass; Lupe Barrera: Drums (4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12) and Bongo (6); Andrew Griffith: Drums (2, 7, 10, 11); Ashleigh Smith: Vocals (3, 4); Lara Bello: Vocals (11); Pete Clagett: Flugelhorn (4, 6); Quamon Fowler: Tenor Saxophone (2), Soprano Saxophone (2, 12), and EWI (12); Clay Pritchard: Tenor Saxophone (7); Aaron Irwinsky: Soprano and Tenor Saxophones (4); Daniel Pardo: Flute and Alto Flute (11) ; Samuel Torres: Percussion (4, 12); Brad Kang: Electric Guitar (9); Miguel Fernández “Cheyenne:” Percussion (9); José Cortés “El Indio:” Hand clapping and flamenco foot tapping (9); Sergio Gómez “El Colorao,” Javier Martos, Julián Heredia, Benjamín Santiago “El Moreno,” and José Cortés “El Pirata:” Hand Clapping (9); Nick Rothouse: Percussion (5, 11); John Sturino: Vibraphone (12); Luanne Homzy: Violin and Viola (6, 12); Alisha Bauer: Cello (6, 12); Sergio Pamies: Piano, Electric Piano, Melodica.

Title: What Brought You Here? | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Bebyne Records


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Mønk CD/LP/Track Review
by Chris May
Published: September 20, 2018
Read The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming CD/LP/Track Review
The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Hidden Details CD/LP/Track Review
Hidden Details
by John Kelman
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Selective Coverage CD/LP/Track Review
Selective Coverage
by Jim Olin
Published: September 20, 2018
Read Fat Daddy CD/LP/Track Review
Fat Daddy
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 19, 2018
Read Short Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Short Stories
by Gareth Thompson
Published: September 19, 2018
Read "Ts'iibil Chaaltun" CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read "ON Tour" CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Blued Dharma" CD/LP/Track Review Blued Dharma
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: June 14, 2018
Read "Straight Forward" CD/LP/Track Review Straight Forward
by David A. Orthmann
Published: March 14, 2018
Read "No Mundo Dos Sons" CD/LP/Track Review No Mundo Dos Sons
by Harry S. Pariser
Published: October 12, 2017
Read "The Subject Tonight Is Love" CD/LP/Track Review The Subject Tonight Is Love
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 31, 2018