JUAN PABLO BALCAZAR – Suite Resbalosa

Suite Resbalosa

Artist : Juan Pablo Balcazar
Release Date : October 6, 2020
Label : Fresh Sound Records
Format : CD

Music composed by Juan Pablo Balcazar

Recorded at Underpool Studios, Barcelona, July 12, 2018

Mixed & Mastered by Hartosopash (Javier Rodríguez) at Metropol Studios, Madrid, November 2018

Design & Cover Art: TheLibrarian

Produced by Juan Pablo Balcazar

Executive Producer: Jordi Pujol

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Balcazar is one of the pillars of the Barcelona jazz scene, and has proven himself not only to be a bass player of great imagination, taste and artistic integrity, but also a prolific and interesting composer. This time around his music exudes strength, skill and conviction, but also a feeling of understated melancholy that pervades the Suite.

 

For his Suite Resbalosa, Balcazar assembled a good, tightly-knit unit that delivers intimate conversations between its five members throughout the set, following the somber but gentle groove —easily recognizable, easily assimilated— from the leader’s music. The group includes two alto saxophonists, Marcel·lí Bayer and Joan Mas, pianist Antonio Mazzei from Venezuela, and drummer Oriol Roca. They achieve a kind of vital transcendence in each performance, sustaining, developing it with the strong, personal, emotionally gripping approach that is so forcibly on display in this session. The texture of each piece is warm and thick, and the moods are reflective and yearning. The ensembles are particularly striking, harmonious and rich in counterpoints, full of intriguing color changes and vigorous line movements.

 

This quintet traverses the ridges and troughs of the music with sensitive control, where each member’s skill as a soloist and improviser, the clarity and sheer musicality of their ideas, and the affinity with each other, create a cohesive ensemble sound which speaks for itself, growing through the moving eloquence of Juan Pablo Balcazar’s music and his work as a leader.

 

Text by Jordi Pujol

 

Juan Pablo Balcazar: double bass

Joan Mas: alto saxophone

Marcel·lí Bayer: alto saxophone

Antonio Mazzei: piano

Oriol Roca: drums

 

www.freshsoundrecords.com

“My Ship” by MUT TRIO / (★★★★) Album review on Jazz Journal

“It’s the creative tension between ad libitum abstraction and an invigorating range of pithy assertion which—for all the aforementioned historical precedent—gives this striking session an ever-stronger impact each time it’s played.” Michael Tucker (Jazz Journal 2017) 

 

My Ship (Fresh Sound New Talent 2017) by MUT TRIO & Masa Kamaguchi  / Miguel Fernández (tenor and soprano sax), Albert Juan (electric guitar), Masa Kamaguchi (double bass), Oriol Roca (drums)

“I’ve always found the material on the New Talent side of the Fresh Sound label of interest and this compelling release from the Barcelona-based (and curiously named) MUT group is no exception. Usually a trio, here the group is augmented by Japanese bassist Kamaguchi. Pizzicato throughout—hear the potency of his figures within the building, thickening group textures of Torrance or the patient clarity of his solo on A Is to B—Kamaguchi fits seamlessly into what sleeve-note writer Dave Foxall aptly calls the spare structures and eloquent improvisation characteristic of the music.

 

Each musician is a fine player. Fernandez evinces incisive yet also painterly control of both textured sound and arching dynamics (witness the tenor opening of What’s Now?) while Juan and Roca are as one in their sensitivity to the interplay of cross-phrased “little sounds” and subtle colour. Anyone who appreciates the leaner or more oblique aspects of Sonny Rollins, Wayne Shorter or Sam Rivers—or who has relished the interaction of Joe Lovano, Bill Frisell and Paul Motian, for example—will find much to enjoy here: sample the opening moments of What’s Next?

 

MUT can burn, as in the offset drive of What’s Next? and Robot Skin, both of which feature Juan at his most linear and lyrical. But if there are welcome smears of blues-touched drama in Cançó sense lletra, the delicate opening guitar figures of My Ship recall the atemporal musings of Derek Bailey, an impression reinforced by the briefly plucked figures at the end of Caned. It’s the creative tension between ad libitum abstraction and an invigorating range of pithy assertion which—for all the aforementioned historical precedent—gives this striking session an ever-stronger impact each time it’s played.”

 

Michael Tucker (Jazz Journal Magazine, August 2017)

 

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