Travesia: a shimmering world of original experimental jazz
Triálogo’s second album is unconventional, but warmly familiar
The Mexican jazz quartet Triálogo released its second album, Travesía at a concert in the new Auditorio (Centro para la Cultura y las Artes de la Ribera) in Ajijic, Mexico, Friday night and it was well worth the wait. Recorded live in Guadalajara’s Teatro Maria Teresa last June, the album is an adventure through a shimmering world of original experimental jazz.
The quartet is made up of four consummate professionals, not only in jazz but in multiple musical forms. Eleazar Soto on saxophone, Gilberto Ríos on double bass and electric bass, Miguel Soto on drums, and Sofía Ramírez on piano and vocals. Each plays in other bands and venues, but when they come together to follow their passion for jazz, improvised music and the composition of original songs, they make a special kind of magic.
Each of the 11 songs on Travesía is a gem that glows with the fervor and finesse of the whole quartet, but follows a string unreeled by one player – whether it is angelic vocals of Soffia Ramierez or her butterfly touch on the piano, Eleazar’s Soto’s guiding saxophone, the adroit bass notes of Gilberto Rios, or Miguel Soto’s nimble drumming and cymbal massage. All of the songs are originals, crafted over the years by the quartet and polished in innumerable practice sessions, rehearsals, and live performances.
Although much of the music is improvised, the musical chemistry among the four artists works at the molecular level. Each musician comes in smoothly and at the precise right time, complementing the sound that has gone before but sometimes taking it in a new direction. And then the band follows as if they were all reading from the same sheet of music. Sometimes the framework is playful piano notes, sometimes it is a muted kickdrum, often it is a smooth sax – all undergirded by bass notes that range from invisible-but-there to a solo riff.
This is sophisticated music; the songs are original, thoughtful, often joyful. Some songs, like Travesía or Free the Lofi, will stick with you and you will unconsciously hum them – not something you expect from experimental jazz. Others you will play again and again because you know there is more there and you will catch it the second or third time around.
Travesía, is even more remarkable because each of the members of the quartet has a unique style developed over years of playing, such as traditional jazz, free jazz, classical music, contemporary music, Afro-American rhythms, electronic rhythms, flamenco, sound art and Latin rhythms. The combination of these musical styles results in Travesía – an album with eclectic sounds, a broad artistic vision, and music that is out of the conventional parameters of the current scene in Mexican jazz, but is somehow still familiar.
Travesía is currently available for download at Triálogo s website, https://www.trialogomusic.com/. Stream their first album Ultravioleta on Spotify
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