Bernat Font (p), Ivan Kovacevic (b), Martí Elias (d)
01. Steeplechase Rag (James P. Johnson) 2:49
02. Ulls Ametlla (Font) 4:25
03. Big 3 (Font) 5:37
04. Seafood (Font) 5:56
05. After Sun (Font) 5:05
06. Bren's Boogie (Font) 3:54
07. Don't Put Sugar In My Sin (Font) 7:18
08. The Lord Is Back (Font) 4:27
09. Tea For Two (Youmans-Caesar) 3:58
10. Pinoy Rag (Font) 3:28
11. Blues 4 Rhene (Font) 6:07
Total time: 59:00 min.
All compositions by Bernat Font, excep tracks #1 & 9 as indicated.
Bernat Font (piano), Ivan Kovacevic (double bass), and Martí Elias (drums).
Recorded at Orfeó Martinenc, Barcelona, Spain, on April 28 & 29, 2010.
Mixed and mastered by David Casamitjana.
Produced by Bernat Font.
It's a real pleasure for me to have in my hands a young and sincere venture born of a musician like Bernat Font, who expresses his art, from the foundations of Afro-American Musical Classicism, with such freshness and character.
Throughout the 11 tracks, nine of which are the offspring of lined paper and the restless pen of the author, presented to us one after the other in a natural and fitting pantone, these three impassioned jazzmen introduce their first record entitled The Shout.
With the deep roots of the blues, and the regular swing beat, always staying true to the feeling, their musical project takes us on a journey through the first half of the last century. From ragtime to the classic swing trio, passing by Boogie Woogie, Fats Waller and Art Tatum, with a nod in the direction of Oscar Peterson and Count Basie, would be the most concise and accurate way of describing their musical influences and philosophy.
And so, having done their homework well, the music that filters out of this recording, made only days before Bernat's 21st birthday, is fluid and diverse as you will hear in Blues 4 Rhene. The theme is soft and seductive and its development is embellished with original changes in tone and metre that demonstrate a notable stylistic plurality.
The trio's technical skill and the more daring approach of its pianist take shape in tracks such as Steeplechase Rag, Pinoy Rag, Big 3 or Bren's Boogie, in which Bernat seems secure in the execution of piano styles and techniques as complex as Boogie and stride piano, making it a liberated form.
Ulls Ametlla, Seafood, Don't put sugar in my sin and The Lord is Back are perhaps the most idiosyncratic and personal tracks of the album. In the first three the intensity, musical feeling and artistic detail are made clear. The contrast between smoothness and intensity is significant in Ulls Ametlla as is the relaxation motivated by the sliding double bass and the percussion in the magnificent Seafood.
The Lord is back, on the other hand, stirs up feelings of youth with the more lively melody moving through the traditions of Boogie and Rockabilly to total intensity.
Finally, After sun and Tea for two open the can wherein is hidden Classic Swing with the suggestion from Bernat, as much as Ivan and Marti, that the bee-bop period even today, enjoys a kind of permanent modernity. Passion, race, technique and authenticity co-exist in this series of notes that you have just opened up in the form of a CD where, incidentally, I haven't found any shouting, yelling or one note out of tune. You wont suffer then because of the title, since there are more than a few opportunities to shout with joy as you join in unison with the jazz of Bernat and his friends.
-Music Journalist and Jazz Radio contributor