Arturo Serra (vib), Enrique Oliver (ts), José Carra (p), Bori Albero (b), Ramon Prats (d)
Reference: SA 033
Bar code: 8427328450331
"Jazz's attachment to songbooks and standards leaves countless other tunes by the musicians themselves in the rarely-played-again category. Some have been disinterred for his latest album by the accomplished Spanish vibraphonist Arturo Serra. Serra's choice reflects not just sympathy for their dormant state but also the influence the albums on which they first appeared exerted on his own outlook. And if such reverence has resulted in safe formats, it's done nothing to diminish the worth of the originals.
Except for the final number, that is. John Coltrane's Giant Steps was an upward-and-onward musical statement, especially in the context of the 1960 album named after it. Serra and his band give it the bossa treatment, which interrupts the tune's almost urgent need to make tracks. That's OK for a listener unaware of its provenance. Coltrane is only part-heard in the playing of Enrique Oliver, whose craggy tenor-sax style shares all the head statements in unison with Serra's vibes, save on Bennie Green's So Far, So Near on which Oliver wreathes Serra's plain statement.
The formats have everyone queueing for solos. Bassist Albero, who makes a solid contribution throughout, has to wait for his moment on Wayne Shorter's Wild Flower. The assertiveness with which Oliver and Serra take charge owes much to him, pianist Carra's judiciously planted chords and Prats's fastidious drumming. Among the memorable tunes are the J.J Johnson ballad I Waited For You and Monk's Locomotive, played with Monkish flair. Lenny White's L's Bop races along, with some neat ensemble stops."
Jazz Journal (February, 2017)