Catalan! Arts

Compilation CD Jazz from Catalonia 2015
Compilation CD Jazz from Catalonia 2015

Jazz from Catalonia 2015: tracks selected by Borja Duñó (music journalist) in collaboration with Olga Àbalos (music journalist), Susanna Carmona (Jazz Terrassa, coordinator), Martí Farré (music journalist), Pere Pons (Jamboree Jazz Club, director), Roger Roca (music journalist) and ICEC.

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Os Meus Shorts: Akars (1:19)
CD: “Akars”
Author: Os Meus Shorts

A guitarist and composer with one foot in Brussels and the other in Barcelona, Nico Roig has become one of the most individual voices on the Catalan indie scene, either solo or in the company of artists such as Raül Fernandez ‘Refree’ and Maria Coma. Os Meus Shorts is the perfect vehicle to show unrestrictedly his most restless and experimental side, which he expresses in semi-improvised micro-compositions.

El resumen
David Mengual Free Spirits Big Band: El resumen (2:09)
CD: “El resumen”
Author: David Mengual Free Spirits Big Band

Always searching for expressive resources that go beyond convention, double bassist David Mengual has turned the Free Spirits Big Band into the most restless jazz orchestra on the Catalan scene and into a combo that thinks, acts, and breathes as a single living being. Its open, curious look goes beyond the prevailing classic swing and struggles to make its way through landscapes as unknown as they are surprising.

The Gramophone Allstars Big Band: Scambalena (5:06)
CD: “Scambalena”
Author: The Gramophone Allstars Big Band

Jazz and ska are twinned in a vibrant proposal headed by Genís Bou, a bright young combo that recently became a big band to explore the links between the black music of the United States and Jamaica. This time a song by Rolando Alphonso provides the dynamite that lets the orchestra indulge their yen to live it up and joie de vivre without making any concessions.

Tengo una debilidad
Celeste: Tengo una debilidad (3:42)
CD: “Tengo una debilidad”
Author: Celeste

One of the most sought-after jazz singers on the Catalan scene, Celeste Alías updates the Antonio Machín songbook with the help of great instrumentalists of the calibre of Santi Careta, David Soler and Oriol Roca. With this personal and even slightly experimental interpretation, the Cuban singer’s unforgettable tunes take on new and interesting edges that show previously unexplored angles of his music.

I, mentrestant, en Claudi s’abraçava al seu Daguerrotip
Marcel·lí Bayer: I, mentrestant, en Claudi s’abraçava al seu Daguerrotip (2:39)
CD: “I, mentrestant, en Claudi s’abraçava al seu Daguerrotip ”
Author: Marcel·lí Bayer

Recorded solo in an 11th-century chapel that was rebuilt in the 17th century, 1680 is a real gift for the ears that invites the listener to reconsider his attitude to music. Marcel·lí Bayer plays his saxes and clarinets accompanied only by the space, air and resonance of the stones and the centuries-old silences they still contain, in a kind of homage to the purest of expressions.

Imaginant Miró
Ignasi Terraza Trio: Imaginant Miró (4:11)
CD: “Imaginant Miró”
Author: Ignasi Terraza Trio

First prize winner at the prestigious Jacksonville International Jazz Piano Competition in 2009, Ignasi Terraza is an exceptional pianist who, on this occasion, plays at imagining the shapes, lines and colours of Joan Miró’s paintings; works he has never been able to see and that he has had to approach through other people’s descriptions. Imaginant Miró is a surprising suite that shows that jazz is one of the many ways we can see and feel.

Take 15
Nu-Roots: Take 15 (5:57)
CD: “Take 15”
Author: Nu-Roots

David Pastor, one of the most revered and versatile trumpeters in Spain, combines jazz with his love of groove with this almost danceable music trio featuring the drums and loops of Toni Pagès and the keyboards of José Luis Guart. Tracks like this Take 15, in 15/4 time as opposed to the 5/4 time of the Paul Desmond classic Take Five, exemplify the elegant irony of his music.

Fantasia en blau
A la Big Bom Band: Fantasia en blau (7:50)
CD: “Fantasia en blau”
Author: A la Big Bom Band

With the aim of making Catalan jazz composers known beyond their own borders, the combo born in Sallent in 1999 and headed by Pepe F. Balasch has put together Made in Cat, a collection of pieces written and arranged by musicians of long and varied experience, such as Joan Monné, Lluís Vergés, Manel Camp, Vicens Martin, David Pastor, Francesc Gener and Lluís Vidal.

Smiling Woo
Bernat Font Trio: Smiling Woo (3:44)
CD: “Smiling Woo”
Author: Bernat Font Trio

In a few years, Bernat Font has gone from young piano prodigy of boogie, stride and blues to a totally contemporary voice that leaves traditional styles behind for pastures new and exciting. On The Sand - Live, Font shows not only his expertise and experience of live performance, but also that he has perfected a language of his own that combines the avant-garde and tradition.

Vegetarian Barbacue
Roger Mas Group: Vegetarian Barbacue (4:45)
CD: “Vegetarian Barbacue”
Author: Roger Mas Group

Roger Mas, one of the most active pianists on the Catalan jazz scene, heads a quartet with musicians of equal stature topped off by the guest trumpet of a magnetic Raynald Colom. Hard bop with solid momentum in which one can appreciate a deep, broad knowledge of modern jazz’s most recent history, that which abandons its role as mere acoustic decoration and aspires to become art with a capital A.

D.O New Ensemble: Correcaminos (4:27)
CD: “Correcaminos”
Author: D.O New Ensemble

Born of the Lab Sessions of Jamboree, Barcelona’s jazz club par excellence, the D.O. New Ensemble’s The Next Generation is a project by trombonist Víctor Correa, bent on promoting the talents of local musicians, composers and arrangers like Toni Vaquer, Jorge Rossy, and others. A perfectly oiled and impetuous nonet that is carving itself a niche with the force of a generation claiming its place on the current jazz scene.

La caza
Los Mambo Jambo: La caza (2:32)
CD: “La caza”
Author: Los Mambo Jambo

Led by renowned saxophonist and composer Dani Nel·lo, Los Mambo Jambo are a volcanic rock & roll, swing, surf and rhythm & blues instrumental band dedicated to bringing back the soul of the wildest ‘50s and ‘60s music. With the incombustible Mario Cobo on guitar, Ivan Kovacevic on double bass and Anton Jarl on drums, the group is known for its totally incendiary live performances.

Dolphin’s Blues
Albert Sanz & Félix Rossy: Dolphin’s Blues (9:13)
CD: “Dolphin’s Blues ”
Author: Albert Sanz & Félix Rossy

Pianist Albert Sanz met Félix Rossy at his father drummer and pianist Jordi Rossy’s house when Félix was still only eleven years old. Félix, as they say, had been brought up on jazz and was such a natural that Sanz was blown away, and now they’ve brought out an album of them playing trumpet and piano together live in Barcelona. Two generations united by a very special sensitivity.