Catalan! Arts

Compilation CD Jazz from Catalonia 2016
Compilation CD Jazz from Catalonia 2016

World Music from Catalonia 2016: tracks selected by Josep Mestres (Jazz al Port) in collaboration with Olga Àbalos (music journalist), Susanna Carmona (Jazz Terrassa, coordinator), Borja Duñó (music journalist), Martí Farré (music journalist), Pere Pons (Jamboree Jazz Club, director) and ICEC.

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Take your Time
Martín Leiton: Take your Time (5:11)
CD: “Take your Time ”
Author: Martín Leiton

An exercise by a trio led by double bassist Martín Leiton based on observation and creation on the raw material that is sound. A work of precision that recreates itself and feeds mostly on its own nuances. Nine compositions that play with the moments lived by the different textures, intensities, beats and vibrations at the service of a rich exchange between strings, brass and drums, the subtlety of Oscar Domènech and the breathing power of an incommensurable Marcel∙lí Bayer.

Carlos Falanga: Tilos (3:25)
CD: “Tilos”
Author: Carlos Falanga

The debut album as leader from this Argentinean established in Barcelona, with a project so great it defies classification (as a debut album should be!). Compositions virtually out of a dream with a sound all their own, a melodic structure that builds a disquieting intimacy and the good taste to choose Matas, Llombart (on electric bass) and Mezquida to cover a gem from Stravinsky’s The Soldier’s Tale which gives the album its name.

Much Laugh about Nothing
Gabriel Amargant Quintet: Much Laugh about Nothing (4:58)
CD: “Much Laugh about Nothing”
Author: Gabriel Amargant Quintet

The second album from Amargant takes its name from Monty Python. This time it is particularly evocative, even more expressive, radiant and subtle, with an overwhelming mastery of his sound, both sax and clarinet, and a technically brilliant execution by the whole band. A chance to discover a clairvoyant Adrià Plana in perfectly arranged music for a quintet that is delicately devoted to its creator.

Marco Mezquida Trio & Bill McHenry: Cantabile (5:19)
CD: “Cantabile”
Author: Marco Mezquida Trio & Bill McHenry

The second album by this trio led by the omnipresent Marco Mezquida (tot up just how many other pies he has his fingers in). This time he is joined by the idol to whom he pays tribute. The result is awesome. The dense sound of Bill McHenry flows over the inexhaustible display of resources of a prodigious Mezquida who just can’t stop growing.

They All Laughed
Rossy & Kanan Quartet: They All Laughed (4:18)
CD: “They All Laughed”
Author: Rossy & Kanan Quartet

Watch out! This is from the house of Rossy. Rules will be broken... but there will be musicality above all else, connections will be created between scenes, generations and ways of understanding music. No works of art will be ruined because they’ve been unnecessarily complicated. Now on the vibraphone, an inimitable Rossy who imitates no one is joined by the great Mike Kanan and the experience of veterans J. Wormworth and P. Smith, to pay homage to Gershwin himself.

Perico Sambeat Big Band: Triptik (6:42)
CD: “Triptik”
Author: Perico Sambeat Big Band

A great jazz orchestra under the direction of a Perico Sambeat who couldn’t be clearer. Sublime compositions, impeccable scoring and unbeatable role distribution. This is a product to be consumed with no interruptions, opening your eyes only to read the sleeve notes about the solos and find out the names of priceless artists, some well known and others less so. A must-have album to explain the scene in Catalonia.

Díaz / Mengual / Roca: Trapezi (3:40)
CD: “Trapezi”
Author: Díaz / Mengual / Roca

To feed and be food at the same time. An open idea and joint effort that features the contributions of Díaz, Mengual and Roca to each of the creations where the creative process as a group is valued above the individual vision of the work. Inspired by ideas from the Bauhaus school, this trio knows how to create the perfect space for multidisciplinary collaboration (it includes a video by Carles Roche).

Perro no come perro
Gorka Benítez & David Xirgu: Perro no come perro (3:03)
CD: “Perro no come perro”
Author: Gorka Benítez & David Xirgu

Only the closest complicity between Benitez and Xirgu explains how they have managed to build this brilliant duo. An album with a pun for a name that plays at speaking about the subjective with every shade of meaning. An instrumental format based on the taste of essences, without the slightest indication of minimalism. It outlines a repertoire that is fresh and fun yet solemn on a silence won with the wisdom of gesture.

No Rain Allowed
Miguel Fernández: No Rain Allowed (5:50)
CD: “No Rain Allowed”
Author: Miguel Fernández

Jazz Journal and DownBeat have already done justice to this band, as compact as it is balanced, on which Miguel Fernández can draw with complete freedom his most intuitive, direct bop with no formal digressions. Its discourse has a natural lyricism and ability to surprise without the least stridency. With brilliant contributions from Palmer and Mezquida, an inimitable Kamaguchi and a brimming David Xirgu.

Roulotte russe
Five in Orbit: Roulotte russe (5:18)
CD: “Roulotte russe”
Author: Five in Orbit

Under the joint leadership of Fossati, Bronner and Brandily, Five in Orbit is an amalgamation of personalities in transit. Five true inventors, to explain the immense curiosity of the human condition, using insinuation, humour, daring and resources of their own as characteristic as sea shells or prepared instruments. An ever-changing orbit of emotions that on this occasion features Marcel∙lí Antúnez as illustrator.

Sabina Witt: Alfred (7:25)
CD: “Alfred”
Author: Sabina Witt

Inspired by creations by French composer Erik Satie (1866 - 1925) and most especially by his poetry, Sabina Witt builds a magnificent création d’auteur. Evoking Satie’s modernity and with an increasingly communicative voice, Chiquilladas pintorescas builds a worldview as intimate as it is personal of the French composer’s fantasies, with the ever sensitive contributions of Joel Moreno and Natsuko Sugao.

Lluc Casares: Red (5:29)
CD: “Red”
Author: Lluc Casares

An extremely sound debut album from saxophonist and clarinettist Lluc Casares playing compositions written between Amsterdam, Philadelphia and Barcelona. It features a variety of styles, including touches of genuine bebop and groove often marked by and orchestral sound, the result of a quintet scoring enriched with trombone, flute and voice. Casares has much to say and makes it known from the outset.

Giovanni di Domenico & Oriol Roca: Chao-Errancy (4:13)
CD: “Chao-Errancy ”
Author: Giovanni di Domenico & Oriol Roca

Roca and Di Domenico met in 2001 in The Hague, at the Royal Conservatoire. A few years later they started this duo in experimentation to explore the acoustic versatility of their respective instruments. Featuring a high level of improvisation on thoroughly open compositions, they create spaces that take shape while seeking new timbres and registers from their instruments.

Plein Air
Giulia Valle: Plein Air (4:27)
CD: “Plein Air”
Author: Giulia Valle

Liberty for a band made to go beyond limits and that is the culmination of Giulia Valle’s career as a composer. With characteristic scenic and instrumental format, Valle administers like no one else the unclassifiable contributions of musicians like Soler and Selnik while feeding off Pastor’s experience and Roca and Arizu’s abilities, offering creations of fevered thermal range, sometimes dreamlike or futuristic, always irreverent that go beyond jazz or rock.

To AEC parte I
Free Art Ensemble: To AEC parte I (2:35)
CD: “To AEC parte I ”
Author: Free Art Ensemble

A surprising third release that is a consolidation of this free jazz ensemble created by Julián Sánchez in 2010 and inspired by the Art Ensemble of Chicago. With a huge brass section and an enriched rhythm section, the FAE brings together a hot selection of creators of unforeseeably driven moments, with a dynamic as openly free as it is artistically credible that thrills audiences with a forceful sound and totally contemporary look.