Bar code: 8427328423373
"What you feel when you listen to a young musician and are moved is difficult to explain in words; its not JUST one, but many things that cause you to emotionally enjoy this very special moment. Fortunately, Ive often had this feeling over the course of the last fifteen years of going to gigs, always with the hope that something exactly like this would happen to me. However, when the music catches you unprepared, this moment is even more resounding.
This was the case with Gabriel Amargant, one night at the Bel-Luna Club. I went with some French friends who wanted to listen to live jazz and have dinner, a bit like in London's Pizza Express. I wasnt exactly sure what I was going to see, and once there we discovered that Gabriel, a young tenor sax who I had only heard once before at Esmucs auditorium, was a guest player for the programmed group. At the time it was an end-of-studies project that I liked very much, but that night it was different. Free of tension, I discovered a musician and saxophonist who surprised me. I think the most articulate thing that went though my head at the time was s**t, can this boy play! The audience was enthusiastic and my friends were too. I didnt want it to end. That's why here, I would like to present you with what days later came out of that night: Gabriels first record as leader.
He is, for me, and for many of his colleagues and professors, one of the most solid values to come out of the Esmuc and the most promising and attractive saxophonist today in our emerging jazz scene. Gabriels powerful, fluid and virtuoso sound, and his implacable attack, remind me, at times, of the young Rollins: the way he gradually constructs the intensity of his phrases with absolute control of where he wants to go, how he gives his improvisations a sense of structure and development, creating at the same time a constant and stimulating storm of notes, delivered with speed and power, for some incredible harmonic results. This is a fundamental aspect in this, Gabriels first record; and yet, in the only ballad he plays he also shows his more romantic side. With his exuberant execution of the theme, he manages to create an atmosphere of intense feeling. Its evident that Gabriel, only 21 years old, demonstrates in his record debut a maturity of ideas and an emotional energy as an instrument player that leads one to think he will go far.
It would not be fair to make this record all about him, though. The members of the rhythm section are at a very high level, and their contribution is emphatic, vital and full of swing. Marco Mezquida, another of promise of our jazz, is a pianist with great talent and technique who improvises with passion and exquisite taste, and when he decides to he suddenly wraps his ideas, with ease and spontaneity, in vertiginous and constant attacks. In the slow passages, his pulsation is delicate and demonstrates great melodic imagination. Miguel Serna and Carlos Falanga interpret their rhythmic role with perfection, and have some noteworthy moments as soloists. Serna is a bass player with a solid pulsation, consistent groove and a well developed sound. Falanga is revealed as an excellent drummer full of swing, who especially shines for his melodic gifts in the solos.
All together, a record to be enjoyed repeatedly, and which Fresh Sound Records, following its philosophy of going for young talents, was proud to present on the day the label celebrated its 25th anniversary party."
01. 80's Blues (5:28)
02. First Love (6:55)
03. When Homer Goes to Madrid (5:52)
04. I Remember Iaia (6:48)
05. 8-22 (8:12)
07. I Wish You Love (6:44)
08. Es nin (5:16)
Recorded at the 'Aula de Cor' of the ESMUC, Barcelona, on October 12, 2008.
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