Marco Mezquida’s 2017 pearls

Marco Mezquida is currently one of the most acclaimed jazz musicians in Spain and certainly considered worldwide a talent not to be missed. Born in Menorca 30 years ago, he has already earned a privileged position through his hard work and chameleonic character. Teacher, composer, soloist, companion, he is versatile and perfectionist, a firm defender of self-exploration and self-care in music. His humility comes as a blessing, a fresh breeze of air, as he smiles with a thousand thank you’s shining out of his eyes at every single show. 2017 leaves with Mezquida having starred in two of the most exciting jazz recordings in Spain – Conexión, with flamenco guitarist Chicuelo; and Ravel’s Dreams, with drummer Aleix Tobías and cellist Martín Meléndez.

 

Conexión (connection in Spanish), published by Taller de Músics, could have been a sea of unidentifiable hints of styles. However, against all odds this brave series of conversations between a jazzy piano and a proudly and roughly flamenco guitar, fantastically accompanied by Paco de Mode’s percussion, end up being “a song”.

This is in its most literary and dreamy definition.

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A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard

Californian trumpeter and composer Ambrose Akinmusire released in 2017 his forth studio album, a live recording of an almost two-hour performance at the legendary Village Vanguard in New York. The great communication with his longtime quartet (Sam Harris/p; Harish Raghavan/b; and Justin Brown/dr), his risky compositions and an overwhelming performance put together an album that has been acclaimed as one of the best jazz recordings of the year.

 

He sounds painful and violent, then careful and quiet, moans in disgrace and possessed sneaks away, through the back door, no statement made, no discourse.

Fate.

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Cubafonía

Daymé Arocena is currently one of the most well acclaimed expressions of contemporary Cuban music. After trying piano, violin or guitar, she understood her voice was her best attribute and thus she began a career as a singer that has brought her to work with Roberto Fonseca, Jane Bunnett and Gilles Peterson, as well as many others. After her debut with Nueva Era in 2015 (see Couleurs Jazz #11 on iPad) she returned in 2017 with a completely different beat: more mature and more herself. Accompained by pianist Jorge Luis Lagarza, bassist Rafael Aldama and drummer Ruly Herrera; she writes a true love letter to her homeland and beloved island: Cuba.

 

Her voice is a force of nature. As if it spoke some hidden language or as if it had a transcendental message to spread. She covers everyone with an aura of family, she smiles stretching her lips onto white and shiny teeth that reflect almost as much light as her eyes.

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“Apaga això i masturba’t”

El segon cap de setmana de novembre el pianista Marco Mezquida, el guitarrista Chicuelo i el percussionista Paco de Mode omplien Luz de Gas amb el tercer concert del Retrat d’Artista que enguany la 49 edició del Voll Damm Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barcelona li fa al pianista menorquí. Una sèrie de cinc concerts dels quals en queden dos, el proper aquest dijous 16 a L’Auditori, amb ‘Els Somnis de Ravel’ acompanyat de Martín Mélendez i Aleix Tobías. “Cinc propostes que reflecteixen el moment intens i camaleònic en el que em trobo, sentint-me ferm en diversos camps musicals”, diu Mezquida, qui actualment exerceix de concertista, compositor, improvisador i professor a l’ESEM i al Liceu de Barcelona. Involucrat en diversos projectes com a solista, titular o acompanyant, és un dels pianistes de jazz més importants del moment.

 

L’aplaudiment és ensordidor.

“Jo desitjava això. Jo volia ser músic, volia ser concertista, volia viure de la música i ser allà. Ara mateix hi sóc i estic exposat.”

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“I am ready to die”

“Look”, he said, “look among the garbage and the flowers”

“There are heroes in the seaweed”.

And then, beauty. And the question. One, two, three and eighty questions. He smiles. His eyes shine. He carries an infinite kindness. You can see it, there, on the tip of his eyelashes, on the corner of his mouth.

Wrinkles on his face. As if full of cracks.

Wrinkles like cracks.

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“Estoy preparado para morir”

“Mira”, dijo. “Mira entre la basura y las flores”.

“Hay héroes en las algas”.

Y entonces, la belleza. Y la pregunta. Una, dos y tres, y ochenta preguntas. Él sonríe. Le brillan los ojos. Carga con una bondad infinita, se le ve, allí, en la punta de las pestañas, en la comisura de los labios.

Arrugas en la cara. Como si la tuviera llena de grietas.

Arrugas como grietas.

Y le brilla el rostro. Casi insoportable, la luz. Pura, blanca. Pero de aquel blanco que lleva todos los colores, allí en el fondo de su corazón. Una luz que se derramaba, iluminando habitaciones, escenarios, cuevas y parques verdes de lilas.

Parques donde Marianne “se aferró a él como si fuera un crucifijo”. Con la tranquilidad que le debía provocar el saberse caminando al lado de su mensajero.

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L’esperit que sobreviu: quan el Two Row Wampum ha mort

1763. El rei d’Anglaterra Jordi III signa la Royal Proclamation. Els colons tenen estrictament prohibit per llei reclamar drets sobre el territori indígena. Prohibit. La terra ocupada per indígenes és indígena, fins que la Corona la compri. Respecte mutu. Vida paral·lela. Calma: existeix un dret de propietat aborigen.

“Però a partir del 1815 els indígenes són un problema. L’objectiu és crear una federació canadenca i per a fer-ho s’ha de passar per terra indígena. Així que el Govern publica l’Acta dels Indis de 1876.”

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