Catalan! Arts

Compilation CD Jazz from Catalonia 2005
Compilation CD Jazz from Catalonia 2005

The jazz scene in Catalonia is a highly important part of the musical creativity of the country -and this sould be of no suprise to anyone for we are talking about music for more than eighty years-. It's represented by a qualified and open-minded group of artists.
In this sense the Sample-CD Jazz from Catalonia 2005 sets out to be a plural and multiple display case of the wealth and variety of jazz that is springing up around us. The eighteen pieces, selected by the director of Jaç magazine Pere Pons, were involved in this process of selection leaving out many other pieces that were just as interesting and as good. A surplus in the field of culture is an undeniable symptom of a vigorous sector.

This CD is part of a series of three CDs intended to promote Catalan music internationally. The rest of the CDs are: World Music from Catalonia 2005 and Pop Rock from Catalonia 2005.

To listen to the tracks of Jazz from Catalonia 2005, click on the links below.

My fifty one minutes
Raynald Colom: “Interlude*1 (Plaza Real 05.30 AM)" (2.16)
CD: “My fifty one minutes”
Author: Raynald Colom

Born in Paris, surrounded by jazz, he came of age, musically speaking in 'coolest' Barcelona. A restless and questioning musician, he has worked for Manu Chao and Mulgrew Miller. This piece, taken from his first solo disc, transports us to the atmosphere of his much admired Miles Davis on "L'ascenseur pour l'échafaud".

Marc Ayza: “Groovaloo" (5.23)
CD: “Deejah”
Author: Marc Ayza

The potential of this left-handed drummer knows no limits. From the teaching of classic performers like Elvin Jones and his learning from near contemporaries like Jordi Rossy, Ayza has managed to develop a rhythmic and tropical identity of his own, with a reading of jazz that is painstakingly suggestive.

Giulia Valle Group: “Groovin' González" (5.55)
CD: “Colorista”
Author: Giulia Valle Group

Composer and double bass player, Giulia Valle is one of the most stimulating new talents that the Catalan jazz scene has thrown up. The highly demanding nature of her compositions is matched only by her capacity for getting the most out of the four strings of her instrument.

Ara o mai
TGX: “Cuerdo" (3.43)
CD: “Ara o mai”
Author: TGX

Led by guitarist Andreu Zaragoza, the sound produced by TGX means that the jazz produced in the south of Europe has taken an important step forward in the evolutionary chain, situating itself firmly within the co-ordinates that mark the trends in this, the third millennium. The marriage between jazz and electronics, tastefully achieved, is an excellent discovery.

De Tristano a Monk
LTM Quartet: “Evidence" (4.13)
CD: “De Tristano a Monk”
Author: LTM Quartet

Bass-player Davin Mengual, the driving force behind endless projects, heads up this laudable homage to two of the greatest and most personal musicians of the modern era of jazz, the pianists Lennie Tristano and Thelonious Monk. As a further attraction, the tribute is paid by an unusual quartet - two saxophones, Llibert Fortuny (alto) and Jon Robles (tenor), with Juanma Nieto on the drums.

Oraindik Ametsetan
Victor de Diego Group: “Baketsu" (1.52)
CD: “Oraindik Ametsetan”
Author: Victor de Diego Group

With his inevitable admiration for John Coltrane and the no less avoidable seductiveness of his listening to Stan Getz, Victor de Diego brings a warm and accentuated lyricism to both his tenor and soprano saxophones. A meticulous composer and long-established performer, his name continues to be near the very top of the list.

Laietana Jazz Project: “Habanera excéntrica" (5.16)
CD: “Selva”
Author: Laietana Jazz Project

The proof that jazz is a music that is open to all kinds of experiences, and prone to a certain promiscuity, is to be found in formations like this Laietana Jazz Project. Created with the intention of bringing together in one big band elements of the four most important jazz scenes in Spain - the Catalan, the Basque, the Valencian and that of Madrid, the results are remarkable.

Llibert Fortuny Electric Quartet: “Canta, canta, Maria, canta" (5.30)
CD: “Revolts”
Author: Llibert Fortuny Electric Quartet

The appearance of musicians like the saxophonist Llibert Fortuny endorses the idea that there are some figures who, were they not to exist, would have to be invented. His drive, his energy and, above all, his attitude, have been fundamental in ensuring that his music surpasses any restrictive limits laid down by the ambit of jazz. An indispensable injection of fresh blood.

Free quartet
Sergi Sirvent Escué: “You look sharp" (3.36)
CD: “Free quartet”
Author: Sergi Sirvent Escué

The pianist and composer, Sergi Sirvent, is one of those people that submerge themselves in music twenty-five hours a day. Prolific, irrepressible and overflowing, the number of individual and collective projects of this diminutive genius grows and grows, combining a wide range of aesthetics and concepts. From his taste for funk to the expansiveness of free jazz - as in the track chosen.

Sólo la verdad es sexy
Gorka Benitez: “Behera" (6.04)
CD: “Sólo la verdad es sexy”
Author: Gorka Benitez

Born in Bilbao but living in Barcelona for many years now, Gorka Benitez is one of the musicians of his generation who has best known how to put drive and emotion before technique and virtuosity. Vital and honest, his jazz transmits complicity and the magic that can only be achieved by working with sincerity.

Laia Porta-Francesc Capella-Damon Brown: “Walking On" (3.53)
CD: “Mínimun”
Author: Laia Porta-Francesc Capella-Damon Brown

A singer (Laia Porta), a pianist (Francesc Capella) and a trumpeter (Damon Brown) make up a very singular trio who believe firmly in the idea that 'less is more'. They alternate standards with their own compositions in this recording, intended for intimate settings and short distances.

Desde Barcelona
Horacio Fumero: “Luna de Santiago" (3.32)
CD: “Desde Barcelona”
Author: Horacio Fumero

His baptism of fire was with Gato Barbieri, he came to public attention alongside Tete Montoliu, and his career has been one of constant growth, confirming him as the double-bass player of reference in our country. Taken from the first record to appear under his name, in this duet he plays alongside our other great bass-player, Carles Benavent.

Introducing The Javier Vercher Trio
Javier Vercher: “Bird Food" (3.43)
CD: “Introducing The Javier Vercher Trio”
Author: Javier Vercher

The Pais Valencià has long been, and continues to be, an enclave in which an important part of the Spanish jazz scene has developed. The young saxophonist from Alicante, Javier Vercher, currently based in New York, is one of the emerging talents from this area, and one who stands out on his own merits.

Lonely Woman
Agustí Fernàndez 4uartet: “Kathelin Gray" (3.31)
CD: “Lonely Woman”
Author: Agustí Fernàndez 4uartet

With a name that is internationally renowned and prestigious within the world of new tendencies and improvised music, Agustí Fernàndez, from Mallorca, is one of the most complete and versatile musicians to have emerged from the Catalan music scene. An eclectic compendium: from the tumbao of the rumba to the minimalism of John Cage, the temperament of Carles Santos or the expressiveness of Ornette Coleman.

As soon as possible
Ass Trio: “Hit Jotero" (5.50)
CD: “As soon as possible”
Author: Ass Trio

Jazz is a music that is in permanent expansion, or at least that is how it is understood by the members of the Ass Trio, a daring group of artists, free of any complexes. Santi Careta (guitar), Santi Serratosa (drums) and Arecio G. Smith (Hammond) opt for a jazz reading of the world that has no quarrel with the ideas of fun, entertainment and quality. The formula works and is invigorating.

Agua Madre
Jordi Bonell: “El guapo" (2.29)
CD: “Agua Madre”
Author: Jordi Bonell

Few guitarists have the skill, the range of experience and the good taste that Jordi Bonell has demonstrated throughout his long and varied career. From flamenco to rock, taking in classical music and, of course, jazz, Bonell has forged a sound of his own in which the dominant factors are measure, elegance and an exquisite correctness of forms.

Vil·la Blauet
Joan Vinyals: “Flors per Júlia" (3.47)
CD: “Vil·la Blauet”
Author: Joan Vinyals

Genres like blues, rock and reggae have shaped the career of this professional guitarist, who has also doubled up as a singer. Having founded groups like Fuego!, and been a leading sideman both in the studio and on stage, he decided to bring out a recording of his own, a highly personal work, from which this piece is taken.

El corazón al sur
Antonio Serrano & José Reinoso: “Ella que pasa" (3.37)
CD: “El corazón al sur”
Author: Antonio Serrano & José Reinoso

Paco de Lucía's favourite harmonica player, Antonio Serrano, and the Barcelona based Uruguayan pianist, José Reinoso, recreate their musical conception of the Latin American universe, blending folklore, poetry and jazz. In this case they present the verses of Benedetti sung by the Badalona cantaor, Miguel Poveda.