Bar code: 8427328436212
In a time of isolation,music served as amemory for Germani to anchor himself in, a comforting reminder of all the congregations of folks the world so deeply missed and coveted. In this very act of sitting in barren rooms, remembering when they were crowded, the seeds of new songs were planted.
“We couldn't believe we were making this record,” the saxophonist said of the day he finally playedmusic with his counterparts in person again. Screens and seclusion having become the norm, a certain magic had revealed itself in what was previously ordinary: the act of coming together. The desire for proximity and collaboration not only spurred the creation of this record but also beats unequivocally at its core. It is an album about the value of the present moment and all that it entails. In its wide-ranging expression of reflective tones and playful riffs, it reminds us to take a moment to recognize the hidden enchantments in the subtle variations of our daily routines, the beauty of sharing time and space with loved ones, and, overall, the responsibility to honor our capacity to wonder —to understand that it suffices to have the chance to wonder at all. “The act of making these songs was like a lighthouse during a storm,” the composer explained.
What Reason Could I Give is named in honor of the eponymous song by American jazzmulti-instrumentalist and composer Ornette Coleman, and —in the very spirit of appreciation for the marvels that can be found in everyday moments when we pay close attention to them— the album carries four vastly different original renditions of the late songwriter's piece. Coleman’s lyrics read, “Howmany times / Must I die for Love? / Only when I'm without you.” Almost as a direct response to his hero, Germani’s several versions —ranging from morose to buoyant— make for a touching homage by instead answering the question of how many times must one live for that very same love. Through these four divergent branches of the same tree of sound, Germani and his quintet reaffirm that there is no dearth of creativity as long as there is something of value in front of us, even if it's only one thing. One person. Onemoment. Insofar as we are present, one is all we need.
From the gentle yet lively introduction of “Anything but a Screen,” which eases and welcomes us into a sense of celebration and rhythm, to the bitter yet loving resignation of making peace with others’ mistakes in “As Long as You Accept Me,” to the falling and rising tribute to perseverance in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles that is “Which Could Also Be a Name,” Germani and his quintet take us on a full-fledged voyage through the present moment. They employ the power of soul-lifting melodies to unveil the innumerable possibilities latent in a single instant, and they beckon us to join them, almost as if to say: “What reason could I give for being here, listener? That I am with you, of course.”
—Alejandra Rivera Flaviá (From the inside liner notes)