Artist : Oriol Roca Trio
Release Date : September 15th, 2017
Label : el NEGOCITO Records
Format : CD

Recorded at Studio Grez, Brussels February 18th 2017

Mixing & Mastering: Manolo Cabras 

Production: Oriol Roca & Rogé Verstraete

 Artwork & Photography: Àlex Juan 


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***  MAR Best Jazz Album 2017 Award  ***   XX Premis de la Música Catalana / Enderrock  


The Barcelona percussionist Oriol Roca has performed alongside some of the best improvisers and composers of creative music in Spain, as well as collaborating with figures like the Italian Paolo Angeli and Norwegian Jan Bang. But this is the first time Roca leads and writes music for his own band. He is accompanied by two old comrades, the pianist Giovanni di Domenico and the double bass player Manolo Cabras, two Italian musicians based in Brussels.


The natural communication between them – built after more than fifteen years playing together – is the perfect canvas for Roca’s music, that demands subtlety and a strong musical personality. The pianist Giovanni Di Domenico (Nate Wooley, Arve Henriksen, Jim O’Rourke) and double bassist Manolo Cabras (Charles Gayle, Erik Vermeulen, Enrico Rava) are two of the most personal voices on the European jazz and improvisation scene. Together they form a trio built on complicity, risk and friendship.


Oriol Roca is now débuting as leader and composer with a record of high emotional intensity, sometimes serene and at others volcanic, where north is always the melody. The debut album Mar is released by Belgian label el NEGOCITO Records, a Ghent based label focused on alternative and improvised music.



MANOLO CABRAS: double bass




MAR Best Jazz Album 2017 Award – XX Premis de la Música Catalana / Enderrock


“Oriol Roca is an excellent drummer who offers us a sober and deep album which opens an infinity of doors for the future of this trio, which we will follow with interest.” Improjazz (FR)


“Oriol Roca is a drummer with a simmering sensitivity that does not lack muscle. His playing has continued to send us back to one of the greatest percussionists known to free music, the huge Barry Altschul, whose Oriol appears today as the obvious successor.” Focus Vif (BE)


“A slow, placid and involving work, which requires careful listening.” Tomajazz (ESP)


“It’s an uneasy serenity Oriol Roca settles into on his new recording Mar. All of the ingredients necessary for a strong dose of tranquility are present: melodic fragments suggestive of possible endings, the murmur of percussion like slow, easy breaths while dreaming, and highly-charged, vivid imagery. But the drummer, along with his trio of pianist Giovanni Di Domenico and double bassist Manolo Cabras achieve a tone that is subtly ominous and reveals a strange beauty.” Dave Sumner, Bird is the worm (USA)


“The magnetizing and extremely minimalistic playing leads to an almost mystical listening experience where every feeling of time and space disappears. A surprising listening trip” Jazzhalo (BE)


“Oriol Roca is one of those drummers who demonstrate to us, by this great sensitivity that characterizes him both as a musician and as a composer, that the art of percussion consists in emphasizing the impulse of a music. ‘Mar’ is an album bursting with ephemeral pleasures, a music that takes the time to be concise, to get to the point and say things once.” Citizen Jazz (FR)






I Wouldn’t Be Sure

Artist : Manolo Cabras & Basic Borg

Release Date : December 11, 2012

Label : El Negocito Records

Format : CD


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Basic Borg started as quartet, out of a recording in September 2005. It was the consequence of a natural connexion between four musicians that seemed to share a common way of responding to the music. Only in April 2009, the saxophonist Riccardo Luppi joins the group; finding immediately a natural spot in the sound of the band. Nevertheless the group’s acoustic sound (in addition of a small range of electronics), it is capable to produce a large diversity of colors. Inspired by bands such of Miles DavisOrnette Coleman, Wayne Shorter… and the modern european jazz music, the quartet has its own particular sound. Their repertoire exists out of original compositions , as well as free improvised music. It’s a band where each of the musicians’ personal contribution is crucial to its sound. Exploring their own boarders every time they play. Musical leader Manolo Cabras, envisioned an electro-acoustic band that play structures while keeping the fresh approach you can find in improvisation.


  • Lynn Cassiers: voice, fx
  • Manolo Cabras: double bass
  • Matteo Carrus: piano, keyboards
  • Riccardo Luppi: tenor and soprano saxophones
  • Oriol Roca: drums





The group bassist Manolo Cabras brought together for a shot at El Negocito label, combines such spirits who remain radically rebelling against obviousness in the musical life they lead. Lynn Cassiers is not just the sympathetic and fragile singer which one could respect her, she is much more. Cassiers enchants, hypnotizes and oppresses her meticulous vocals from a psychological ingenuity witnesses where several colleagues a tip can suck. Riccardo Luppi rips repertoire like from the inside open and Oriol Roca on drums refuses to be a flowing stream which his companions could float carefree. The piano and keyboards Matteo Carrus expired as the percussion in fits and starts, from top to valley, from confirmation to denial, the tension constantly entertaining and groundbreaking for an untapped area.
The album’s title is anyway not stolen. “I Wouldn’t Be Sure” is what the musicians constantly communicate to each other: simply land on his or her feet is indeed a fact that none of the quintet members are interested. Each song is a re-scan of the darkness: starting with a tabula rasa, and slowly but surely be signed by the comments which the instrumentalists provide their companions. Especially in the longer tracks, where the time is taken to solo material as it were to be fertilized by the collective, the quest is captivating to follow. Precisely because there is no key exists to the fairytale of Manolo Cabras and Basic Borg, is a forest where is fine to get lost: for as the conceptual framework is composed of “right” versus “wrong” way – why would not every turn permuted ?
What if ‘I would not be sure’ is about the poetry of freedom? When rigid harmonic thinking and the structural development of compositions equally are putted aside, it becomes possible to return from the intuition voice, electronics and acoustic instruments to move towards each other. Silence and cries that remain unanswered are the white lines of the poem that this album is, places where it is up to the listener to complete the picture or to get a moment to breathe. Of course the lookout for the elusive one job to beaches where he also started: this album also reached no illuminating lock. These five unleashed brains understand, however, that the way are the soul of the experience. A more beautiful tribute to the libertarian principles of jazz seems hard to imagine. Jan-Jakob Delanoye, Kwadratuur (May 2013)


Cet album nous emmène dans des sphères différentes. La voix de Lynn Cassiers, les effets électroniques que la jeune chanteuse gère, la contrebasse et les compos de Manolo Cabras, le sax free de Riccardo Luppi, la batterie d’Oriol Roca et le piano de Matteo Carrus se conjuguent pour nous offrir une musique nouvelle, sensible, intelligente pour une nouvelle ère. Jean-Claude Vantroyen, Le Soir (January 2013)


Intriguing title for an intriguing piece of Italian bassist settled in Belgium who is best known as a sideman for Erik Vermeulen, Ben Sluijs and Manu Hermia. The group’s name refers to the enemies of the Star Trek crew. Sounds from the cosmos are also here and slid between the folds courtesy of vocalist and “electronic diva” Lynn Cassiers. The quintet plays music and is hovering above on quite openly in the gray area between free improvisation and with the important rule: Treat your fellow musicians getting their own way. Somewhere between Bobo Stenson, Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis Live At The Plugged Nickel but transposed to the 21st century. Pieces of pure spiel canals threading the ideas flow together. The remarkably warm sound you get is a bonus. The very strong narrative structure with perfect center piece calling for a vinyl release. Georges Tonla Briquet, Jazzmozaiek (April 2012)


Basic Borg résulte d’un étonnant carrefour de rencontres. D’abord, celle de la vocaliste Lynn Casiers qui s’exprime dans un jazz expérimental aux frontières du rock alternatif, de l’improvisation comme de la musique électronique et dont le talent innovant s’est notamment illustré au sein des groupes Lidlboj du claviériste Jozef Dumoulin (album Trees Are Always Right en 2009) et Octurn du saxophoniste Bo van der Werf (7 Eyes en 2009) mais aussi au sein de son propre quartet avec le pianiste Augusto Pirodda et, déjà, Manolo à la contrebasse. Ensuite, la rencontre avec l’expérimenté saxophoniste italien Ricardo Luppi qui a collaboré plusieurs fois avec Nexus, l’une des meilleures formations italiennes (notamment pour We Did It, en hommage à Roland Kirk) mais qui a aussi enregistré à son nom, avec ses amis Daniele Cavallanti (saxophone ténor) et Tiziano Tononi (batterie), un très original Homage to Duke Ellington (un album chroniqué en 2003 dans le magazine Jazzaround). En 2006, ce saxophoniste avait fondé le groupe Mure Mure en compagnie de Manolo et, par la suite, de Lynn Cassiers. Au piano, on retrouve Matteo Carrus, jeune instrumentiste italien qui a notamment joué avec le trompettiste Mario Massa avant de rejoindre Basic Borg en 2009 pour des concerts au Sounds et au Negocito de Gand. Enfin, à la batterie, on retrouve l’Espagnol Oriol Roca que l’on avait découvert, en compagnie de Manolo, au sein du trio de Giovanni Di Domenico et qui a vite rejoint Basic Borg. Au répertoire du quintet, six compositions originales de Manolo, deux de Lynn Cassiers, une de Matteo Carrus et deux compositions-improvisations collectives (le très court duo entre percussions et effets électronique de Scalar’e Bottulusu et It Should Be There sur lequel saxophone ténor et piano dialoguent avec une voix comme en écho dans une atmosphère très mystérieuse). La musique proposée par Manolo et Lynn marie, avec une réelle originalité, tradition (des lyrics chantés d’une voix limpide comme sur I Wouldn’t Be Sure) et modernité (vocalises modulées par des effets électroniques comme sur Game Over ou Ti Ricordi) et mélange, avec audace, musique mélodique très intimiste (G Whatever ou ce Plaça de Cristo Rey avec un beau dialogue entre piano et contrebasse) et fulgurances free (avec un ténor rageur et effets électroniques comme sur Pronti, Partenza, Via). Chacun devient soliste à son tour (très belle intro de contrebasse sur Dolce ou de piano sur A Ciascuno il Suo) sur la riche trame rythmique d’Oriol Rocca, batteur doublé d’un percussionniste à la recherche de colorations nouvelles. Voilà assurément une musique innovante, fruit d’une démarche très personnelle, qu’on se réjouit de découvrir en concert.Claude Loxhay, Jazzaround (December 2012)


Bassist Manolo Cabras comes from Sardinia but has now found a permanent home in the Belgian jazz scene. His band Basic Borg appeared late last year the album “I Wouldn’t Be Sure”, featuring Riccardo Luppi alongside saxophonist, pianist and drummer Matteo Carrus Oriol Roca, also Lynn Cassiers as a singer and supplier of all kinds of electronics. Manolo Cabras is a great bassist, a beauty of an improviser. On ‘I wouldn’t be sure’ he delivers most compositions that serve as starting point for improvisation and freer sound experiments. Despite the electronics Lynn Cassiers, the music of Basic Borg remains yet very close to the jazz tradition. Beautiful is the back-and-forth game between the rhythm section, but also between the two voices (Lynn Cassiers and veteran Riccardo Luppi). A band to be listened live. Jeroen Revalk, Cobra Magazine (March 2013)


Ma al di là delle singole personalità è il suono della band che affascina l’ascoltatore e fa di I Wouldn’t Be Sure una bella testimonianza di come il linguaggio del jazz possa rinnovarsi con freschezza e creatività. Vincenzo Roggero, All About Jazz (April 2013)


I know Riccardo since 2009 and I feel so lucky to have shared so many good moments together, as when we recorded in Narbonne the album I Wouldn’t Be Sure with Manolo Cabras & Basic Borg. We talked a million times with Riccardo about organizing some concerts in Spain, and I’m so happy this is finally happening on the third week of March. But I’m even more thrilled to share the music with my friends David Mengual on double bass and Marco Mezquida on piano.

We’ll be happy to see you in one of the concerts!

· Wedenesay 18.03 – Jamboree Jazz Club Barcelona 20h (Quartet)

· Thursday 19.03 – Hot Blues Igualada 22h (Quartet)

· Friday 20.03 – Jazz Club La Vicentina Sant Vicenç dels Horts 22h (Joan Mas on saxophone replaces Marco Mezquida)

· Sunday 22.03 – El Siglo Sant Cugat del Vallès 12.30h (Quartet)

· Sunday 22.03 – Cafè Auditori de Sant Cugat Sant Cugat del Vallès 20.30h (Quartet)


Riccardo Luppi (tenor and soprano saxophone)

Marco Mezquida (piano)

David Mengual (double bass)

Oriol Roca (drums)





BOTTARGA, BATTERIA, BELEZZA by Andrea Cirotto (interview)

Interview (in italian) by Andrea Cirotto on Barcellonando. I happen to have a pretty strong relation with italian culture, for different matters, and here we discuss about where it all comes from, including my solo album La Tomba dei Giganti recorded in Sardegna, my collaborations with italian musicians such as Paolo Angeli, Giovanni di Domenico or Manolo Cabras. At the end of the page there’s a spanish version of the interview.

(…) Apriamo oggi la rubrica di Barcellonando “Gli italiani lo fanno”, dedicata agli italiani che sono a Barcellona e che fanno cose (possibilmente interessanti). E apriamo con Oriol Roca, che non è italiano ma 1) Doverosamente questo è il nostro omaggio a Catalunya (Catalogna non mi piace, in questo blog sempre si scriverà Catalunya) 2) Oriol ha una bellissima relazione con l’Italia, specie con la Sardegna, che ci racconta in questa intervista. Prima pensavo che il batterista era quel tipo che sta dietro la batteria, e sin dall’inizio non ho mai creduto alla storia che Ringo riceveva più lettere d’amore di tutti  gli altri Beatles. Se pensate che il batterista solo serve a fare casino mentre gli altri suonano musica, e che alla fine si limita a lanciare le bacchette sul pubblico, dovete continuare a leggere. Ma direi che dovete farlo in ogni caso. (Continue reading)


Els Invertebrats

Artist : Refree
Release Date : September 24, 2007
Label : Acuarela
Format : CD

Recorded at Jet Studios (Brussels) on May 2007. Mixed by Jordi C. Corchs. Mastered by Alvaro Balaña. Produced by Raül Fernandez



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Els Invertebrats is the fourth studio album by singer-songwriter and producer Raül Fernandez. This is song driven music, which is equally strong and warm with just voice and solo jazzy upright bass or solo piano, but is accompanied most often with more instruments (additional piano, or Rhodes, bits of electronica and glockenspiel, drums, violin, harmonica,..). Refree’s warm voice is somewhat comparable to some late 60s/early 70s Argentine examples I know of (like Spinetta from Almendra and Invisible), but in a more jazzy way, and also, more singer/song orientated. 


  • Raül Fernandez: vocals, guitar
  • Giovanni di Domenico: piano, keyboards
  • Manolo Cabras: double bass
  • Oriol Roca: drums
  • Ricky Falkner: banjo, percussion, back vocals
  • Sílvia Pérez Cruz: back vocals





La música de Refree funciona –al menos en mi opinión– a efectos retardados: acostumbrados a que la música nos empache de instantaneidad, sorprende que su propuesta más personal se aleje cada vez más de lo previsible y que, en sus últimas entregas, cueste de digerir con facilidad (aunque cuando se consigue la sensación es duradera y única). La música de Refree funciona –al menos en mi opinión– a efectos retardados: acostumbrados a que la música nos empache de instantaneidad, sorprende que su propuesta más personal se aleje cada vez más de lo previsible y que, en sus últimas entregas, cueste de digerir con facilidad (aunque cuando se consigue la sensación es duradera y única). A lo largo de casi media vida publicando discos (empezó a los diecisiete y acaba de rebasar la frontera de los treinta), Raül Fernández ha tenido oportunidad de probar muchos sabores musicales, y para la cuarta referencia de Refree, “Els invertebrats”, ha apostado por la improvisación con unos invitados de lujo, el trío de jazz de vanguardia The Sweet Cut (Giovanni di Domenico, Manolo Cabras y Oriol Roca), con quienes ha experimentado las mutaciones que sus propias partituras podían sufrir. Aunque la instrumentación esencial (piano, contrabajo y batería más las guitarras de Fernández) pueden hacer pensar en un acercamiento al jazz, bajo esta colección de piezas que encajan y desencajan, que implosionan y explosionan en ocasiones dentro de la misma canción (caso de “El puerto de los cristianos”) se esconde la verdadera esencia de su búsqueda musical: la pasión por la canción de autor de aires costumbristas e incluso tradicionales (“El sud”, triple salto mortal –voz más contrabajo– que recuerda la esencialidad de “El noi de la mare” que aparecía en “Inmigrasons”). Jordi Nopca, Mondosonoro (October 2007)


Convertido en uno de los productores del momento, Raül Fernández ha encontrado el tiempo necesario, 5 días en Bruselas, para grabar las canciones que forman su último disco, Els invertebrats, y que vuelven a transportarnos al universo propio de Refree.
Un universo tranquilo y cercano. El espacio donde Fernández aborda temas cotidianos como la ciudad, las porteras, un despertar o los días en que oscurece antes. Todo ello tiene un sitio en Els invertebrats, donde entre canciónes en castellano y catalán Refree va articulando un discurso que se apoya en el acompañamiento musical del trío de jazz The Sweet Cut. Formado por Giovanni Di Domenico (piano), Manolo Cabras (contrabajo) y Oriol Roca (batería), es el conjunto que, en la mayoría de canciones, sustentan la voz de Raül Fernández. Si a eso se le suma la producción del propio Fernández tenemos el espectro sonoro por el que se pasean las canciones de Els invertebrats. Siempre delicada. Siempre buscando el detalle. Así es su música. Esta vez con la novedad de Sweet Cult. A más de uno algunos temas le parecerán demasiado jazzísticos, pero las propuestas de Refree siempre son arriesgadas. Y eso hay que valorarlo. Quizás con unos arreglos más tradicionales hubiese conseguido más adeptos, pero entonces no se trataría de un disco, el cuarto ya, de Refree. Quim García, Indyrock (June 2007)


El cuarto disco de Refree es un disco de pop oculto tras un tenue manto de jazz que lo recubre por completo, ya que Raül Fernández se ha hecho acompañar por el grupo de jazz The Sweet Cut, consiguiendo un disco tan intemporal como bello y tan cosmopolita como personal.

”Els invertebrats” es una suerte de palíndromo, cuyo centro es la portentosa El Sud, que se rodea de dos canciones gemelas y perfectas, para seguir abriéndose en la siguiente cáscara con las cancione más prescindibles, y llegar al final de la onda expansiva con la primera y la última canción, tan buenas como las tres centrales, y tan inolvidables como todo el disco en general. Las canciones, de un divisionismo costumbrista, a veces recuerdan musicalmentea los inicios de Sr. Chinarro -hablo de la gloriosa Una rodillita dos, por ejemplo-, pero como si fueran cantadas por un Parade sin maquinitas, que en vez de oír tanto a Franco Battiato oyera más a Sisa.

Se inicia el disco con una fabulosa Buenos días por la mañana, que en un minuto y veinte segundos de pianos y silbidos deshilachados se convierte en heredera directa de El niño inseminado, lo que te hace ver que estás ante un disco muy a tener en cuenta. Un oficio antiguoy La mestressa, casi más de Parade que de Refree, son buenas, pero viendo lo que viene después, es mejor dejarlas pasar.

Y se llega a las tres canciones centrales, tres canciones que forman un half pipe rápido-lento-rápido resumen de todo el disco. Empieza con Envejece, en la que Raül sigue su recorrido de mañana de domingo en su barrio con una alegría melancólica que ni los Magic Numbers, para bajar el pistón con El sud, magistralmente cantada por Raül con el único acompañamiento del contrabajo de Manolo Cabras, y luego subir con El Sant Sopar, con palmas, moog, fiesta y todo lo necesario para acabar el guateque.

Aunque alguna de las siguientes canciones, como Marlina, pudieran oírse en el programa Área reservada, lo que echa para atrás bastante, el nivel de calidad del disco sigue prácticamente intacto, para acabar al más alto nivel con un poema musicado de Gloria Fuertes, Nana al niño que nació muerto, precioso poema convertido en perfecta canción pop, que seguro hubiera hecho las delicias de Enrique Urquijo, quien tenía en cartera cuando murió un disco de poemas Gloria Fuertes, que quizá, oyendo sus discos con Los Problemas, no hubiera estado tan lejos de loque ha hecho Raül Fernández, una sencilla canción pop con piano y violín.

”Els invertebrats” es un disco que merecidamente estará en un par de meses en todas las clasificaciones de lo mejor del año. PopMadrid (October 2007)