Review written by: Raul da Gama
For those wishing to hear what kind of music the Andrés Ortiz Trio makes, here is a clue: it would not be possible to describe it in two familiar words: “Latin Jazz”. The two words are most often ascribed to a musician of South American or Southern European origin and although two thirds of the trio would qualify for such ethnicity, their music has a much broader musical topography. The music swings—not only in the rhythmic sense—but in a broader, more classical stylistic sense, cutting a wide swathe that is somewhere between late-romanticism and abstract impressionism. There is much use of whole-tone scales, and going beyond this, modalism. Moreover the glorious timbres of the piano reign supreme, as do that of the shape-shifting bass and drums. But it is the glimmering sound of the piano crowns the magisterium of an enriched timber spot and this, in turn, gives new meaning to the melodicism of the music, through sensual motifs that make for enriched harmonisations.
True that the first few tracks of Recordando agitate the ocean of sound that pervades the album. It is almost as if the group is stirring up the waters, but as time and a gulp of choruses will tell, it is only to find a level for itself and the music to inhabit the real calm of the music. This is one where the pianist Andrés Ortiz V, bassist Antonio Cervellino and drummer Brian Quinn unite in the depths of the music’s emotional diadem: a heartfelt elation. On “Trueno” and “Así Fue” for instance, Ortiz uses the full range of the piano’s dynamics and from the softest expression of pianissimo to fortissimo, including the vast array of hues in between. His lines are like whispering brooks that glide over smooth stones and this is manifest in hushed triplets and faster, but equally soft arpeggios. There might suddenly be a crescendo, as the music demands it and then a great, thunderous chord announces a passage that is forthright and that rumbles above all else like a virtual avalange.
There are tracks—especially ones like “39,9,” with its ominous-sounding bass ostinato and rotating, rumbling tom-toms—that bring a semblance of the Latin tinge by suggesting calypso and other Afro-Caribbean rhythms, but that is all. Mere suggestions that tantalize are no match for the overpowering swell of joy that perpetuates throughout the music. It bears mention, here that the musicians possess sublime technique—and although there is no gratuitous virtuosity the displays of technique on the part of bassist Cervellino, in the bold pizzicato and intricate con arco passages, both on “Picaro” these play a masterly foil to the pianist. Quinn plays with deeply etched empathy here, sliding his brushes over the hoarse drum-skins, and then swishing them over the cymbals.
This is glorious music from end to end and heralds something fresh and new on the so called “Latin Jazz” horizon.
Track Listing: 1. 39:9; 2. Picaro; 3. Recordando; 4. Trueno; 5. Flora; 6. Así Fue; 7. Aral; 8. Inesperado.
Personnel: Andrés Ortíz V: piano; Antonio Cervellino: contrabass; Brian Quinn: drums; Rino Rossi: contrabass (5).
Related links: Andrés Ortíz Trio on the web: www.andresortiztrio.com
Gerry López: No Way Back
Pianist, Composer Olivia Pérez-Collellmir Releases Debut Album: “Olivia”
Jorge Luis Pacheco: The Lockdown Album
De Ponce A Nueva York: Ángel “Papote” Alvarado y el Grupo Esencia
Vistel Brothers: Fiesta en el Batey
Christmas Classic “Asalto Navideño Vol. II” Gets New Vinyl Reissue
Bobby Sanabria Multiverse Big Band: Vox Humana
Arturo O’Farrill, Omar Sosa and Etienne Charles Bring Latin Jazz to the DC JazzFest
Fernando Trueba and Javier Mariscal Present “They Shot the Piano Player” at TIFF 2023
The Latin Side of Jazz · Episode 33
The Rodriguez Brothers: Reunited – Live at Dizzy’s Club
Sammy Figueroa: Searching for a Memory
Juan García-Herreros – The Snow Owl: Normas
Raphael Cruz Reaffirms His Commitment To Latin Jazz!
Edy Martínez, the Music Architect Behind the Piano
Rubén Blades con Roberto Delgado & Orquesta · Son de Panamá
Celebrating Emiliano Salvador and his Musical Legacy
Cubano Be, Cubano Bop: A Memorable Night in Toronto with Poncho Sánchez
A Conversation with Percussionist, Bandleader Poncho Sanchez
The Odyssey of Anat Cohen
Paquito D’Rivera & Quinteto Cimarrón: Aires Tropicales
Have You Seen My Nana? The Enduring Genius of Moacir Santos
Enrique Rodríguez: Enriquito – Me Quito El Sombrero
Roberto López Afro-Colombian Jazz Orchestra: Azul
Most Read in 2023
Featured Albums6 months ago
Aymée Nuviola feat. Kemuel Roig: Havana Nocturne
News8 months ago
Grammy Nominated Jane Bunnett and Maqueque to release new recording: ‘Playing With Fire’
News8 months ago
Bobby Sanabria MULTIVERSE Big Band to release new recording: “Vox Humana”
Album Reviews8 months ago
Gia Fu Presents: Ángel Meléndez X Big Band Máquina