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Colina Miralta Sambeat: Danza Guaná

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Colina Miralta Sambeat - Danza Guaná

The good news for connoisseurs of music that is as surprising as Jazz, mysterious as flamenco and the molten mix of these with every other musical idiom, is that Colina Miralta Sambeat – otherwise known as the CMS Trio – has released just their first album of 2015. The repertoire is driven by music that is sinuous, lyrical and magical. And there could hardly be a trio of musicians that created this music and is more self-effacing, scholarly and so filled with ingenuity that their proverbial cup does runneth over. And it does so with the simple joy of playing alto saxophone, contrabass and percussion with compelling brilliance so as to communicate through extreme virtuosity, the simple joy of traversing the musical topography of the world with the eyes and ears of children. This can only be undertaken by musicians with a questing intellect and a childlike sense of adventure. For then –and only then—can musicians such as these be open to the miraculous and changing nature of music, and communicate this to an adoring public who forever wait with bated breath for new music from each of the musicians—as well as with the trio that they have formed.

Of course none of this would hold any truth if the musicians here did not deliver the goods. And Javier Colina, Marc Miralta and Perico Sambeat do not disappoint in any way shape or form. The reading of the various charts is remarkable; the best of them begin unhurriedly, as if waking in stately grace, gently rousing itself to life in order to explode into the mind’s ear. The sheer delight of “Kalimba” is communicated first through the plucked revelry of the African thumb piano soon turning glorious with harmonic sleights of hand from Javier Colina, as much as it does with Marc Miralta and Perico Sambeat. The flamenco rhythms almost completely mask the newly-sculpted melody of “You Don’t Know What Love Is”. The song loses none of its darkness; in fact the flamenco whirling of the rhythm turns the slow tempo of the original into a twisting deep-song full of the duende that can only come from a confrontation between Moorish polyrhythms and the heart-wrenching duende of Andalusian deep-song that became the mystical torch-song popularised by the great Spanish poets such as Federico Garcia-Lorca.

The other exquisite melodies voiced with dry, howling tones are outstandingly enterprising. You feel at once charmed and lured into a delightful trap, where the magical mystery of the music may be likened to the delightful entrapment of the incredible Paradise Flycatcher. The mesmeric nature of the melting pot into which melodies are poured is also alchemical. Bassist, drummer and saxophonist play like medieval druids conjuring up magical potions in music. Lest I be accused of unfair bias, I must also draw attention to the rest of the musical fare that delights in the mercurial nature of their melodies, dramatic to the core. It also bears mention that the chewy harmonies of many of the songs played with sheer genius by bassist Javier Colina, saxophonist Perico Sambeat and drummer Marc Miralta are almost palpably and profoundly romantic, with iridescent phraseology, with pronounced timbral beauty that translates into heart-stopping harmony and rhythmic intensity that can only come from a group schooled in the art of mystery and majesty.

Track List: Kalimba; Camino Del Batey; Una Cana Al Aire; You Don’t Know What Love Is; Mirasambolina; Juramento; Danza Guaná; Dos Mundos; Apocalypso.

Personnel: Javier Colina: contrabass; Marc Miralta: drums; Perico Sambeat: alto saxophone.

Label: Tekne Cultura/Karonte
Release date: April 2015
Website: javiercolina.com
Buy music on: amazon

About Colina Miralta Sambeat CMS Trio

Colina Miralta Sambeat – the CMS trio is back! Its secret recipe of jazz, Latin standards and popular music roots is more alive than ever, after years of stepping on stages around the world. There is a fine balance of the Trio’s own songs and classic jazz standards, polyrhythms spiced with and African colours Colombian and even flamenco songs; ballads Cuban Danzón, classical Aires; calypsos and popular and accessible music for everyone!

Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

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Featured Albums

Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá

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Roberto Jr. Vizcaino, Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaino Guillot - Photo Nayeli Mejia
Roberto Vizcaíno Jr., Adrien Brandeis, Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot - Photo: Nayeli Mejia.

Listening to the music of Siempre Más Allá, it certainly seems that the young French pianist, Adrien Brandeis has strengthened the belief that he is a proverbial citizen of the Afro-Caribbean universe. To be clear Mr Brandeis still loves all music and swings as hard as any pianist who loves Black American Music – that is, music that you can sing and dance to. But also continues to be beguiled by the rolling thunder of Afro-Caribbean music. The wild call of the rhythms and the joie de vivre of the questing melodies and harmonies not only appeal to his ear, but also speak to him in the hidden parts of his heart.

By his own admission Siempre Más Allá took root during three tours to Mexico undertaken under the aegis of the Fédération des Alliances Françaises du Mexique. The virtually all-Afro-Cuban repertoire of the album radiates charm at every turn. These disarmingly natural and eloquent performances bring out the music’s inherent drama and penchant for tumbao with a deft touch while indulging Brandeis’ lyrical instincts to the full. Meticulously balanced, the four quartet pieces, the trio and duo pieces feel as if they are chamber works. Brandeis’ astonishingly insightful playing is musically captivating and technically blemishless. Each phrase rings so completely true that one can’t imagine the music played any other way.

Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá
Adrien Brandeis: Siempre Más Allá

The album features Mr Brandeis and a group of very accomplished musicians. These include the celebrated Cuban percussionist Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot [on two tracks] and his son Roberto Vizcaíno Jr., Mexican drummer José Loria Triay make up the wall of percussion. The Brasilian bassist Giliard Lopes brings his distinctive veritas to the whole rhythm section. The big surprise here is, perhaps, the presence of the great Cuban Horacio “El Negro” Hernández sitting in the drum chair on La buena vibra.

Siempre Más Allá is an affirmation of Brandeis’ enduring love and natural affinity for Latin music. Not surprisingly the music seems to echo the famous Latin American phrase: “¡Que rico bailo yo!” [which, in English, exclaims: “How well I dance!”]. This is no hyperbole as the music – in its pulses and rhythms show as Brandeis traverses the rhythmic topography of the Caribbean and Latin America. Along the way Brandeis plunged into the world of changüí, the chacarera, Brasilian gaucho music and the ancient melodic thunder of bàtá drums.

From the get-go listeners will find themselves immersed in quite another world of rippling percussive grooves. The track Ek Bakam, for instance, conjures the intricate architecture; the line and flow of an epic Mayan civilisation located in the Yucatan. Narratives from the Latin world abound – often paying homage to famous traditional musicians. Pancho’s Power is one such chart inspired by the vivid world of the legendary trio Los Panchos. Brandeis gives his percussion section a lot of space when he puts the spotlight on them on Tierra de Oportunidades – a wistful memory of the pianist’s three tours to Mexico, which is also incidentally the popular provincial slogan of the Mexican state of Guanajuato. On Huachi-Huachi Brandeis digs deep into the epicurean delights of the only Latin country in North America with this song in praise of a kind of gourmet Mexican fish: the huachinango.

Brandeis then celebrates his association with percussion colourist Roberto Vizcaíno Jr. with the extraordinary music of Vizcaíno Blues, a piece unique with its exploratory chromaticisms and elegant sonorities that beautifully capture the eloquence of the percussionist in whose praise the music is written. Mindful of the fact that Vizcaíno is Cuban but makes his home in Mexico, Brandeis shapes the rhythmic and harmonic palette of the piece accordingly. On La Buena Vibra Brandeis delivers astonishing pianistic fireworks in the piece’s melodic and harmonic lines, played at a frenetic pace, to mirror the style of its dedicatee, Michel Camilo. The pianist demonstrates an authentic home-grown grasp of Cuban music as he reimages Voy a Apagar la Luz, by the legendary and late-singer Armando Manzanero, here adapted as a wistful solo piano work. Meanwhile on the dizzying ride of Humpty Dumpty the pianist pays homage to another idol: Chick Corea, by revisiting the sparkling composition of the recently-deceased piano maestro.

It is hard not to be mesmerised by this spirited and finely nuanced music artfully crafted in an album by Adrien Brandeis, a pianist who is about to take the world by storm with a recording that is going to be one of the finest by any musician located outside the Latin American sub-continent.

Deo gratis…

Tracks – 1: Huachi Huachi; 2: Alegría; 3: Pancho’s Power; 4: Ek balam; 5: Un peu d’espoir; 6: Vizcaíno’s Blues; 7: Tierra de oportunidades; 8: Humpty Dumpty; 9: La buena vibra; 10: Voy a apagar la luz

Musicians – Adrien Brandeis: piano; Giliard Lopes: contrabass; José Loria Triay: drums; Roberto Vizcaíno Jr: congas and bàtá drums. Featuring Roberto Vizcaíno Guillot: percussion [1, 6]; Horacio “El Negro” Hernández: drums [9]

Released – 2022
Label – Mantodea Music Productions
Runtime – 58:25

YouTube Video – Adrien Brandeis – Siempre más allá (EPK)

YouTube Audio – Adrien Brandeis – Vizcaíno’s Blues

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