|Photo: Ssirus Pakzad|
"Quarteria" (Sunnyside Records) literally translates to "house of residence" and "small housing units" - the title also refers to the place where Filiú grew up. Joining him on this musical adventure is Ralph Alessi (trumpet), Dayna Stephens (tenor sax), David Virelles (piano), Matt Brewer (bass), Craig Weinrib (drums), and Yusnier Sanchez (percussion) plus Maria Grand (tenor sax on two tracks). The musicianship is superb throughout as Filiú creates an extended suite that show the diversity of his influences (Cuban dance music, classical studies, Afro-Caribean music). Note the clean tones of the front line, the articulate piano lines, the powerful bass, drums, and percussion but also pay attention to the extended melody lines, the harmonies, and the solos that grow organically from the composer's settings.
|Photo: Antonio Porcar Cano|
|Photo: Larisa Lopez|
"Quarteria" attracts the listener with its intelligent melodies, intricate harmonies, and captivating rhythms. The sound of this music is so clear, never cluttered, with inventive solos and interactions. Román Filiú, along with his excellent ensemble, has created an exciting program, music that resonates with one's feet, heart, and soul.
For more information, go to www.romanfiliumusic.com.
Take a listen to the opening track:
Ms. Grand, a native of Switzerland. moved to New York City in 2011 (at the age of 19) to study and work with Billy Harper, Doug Hammond, the late Von Freeman, and Steve Coleman. She has recorded with Coleman on his most recent Pi recordings, "Synovial Joints" and "Morphogenesis."
"Magdalena" is a fascinating recording, very different from one might expect of someone so young. Her teachers and mentors obviously heard elements in the music created by Maria Grand to allow her to take flight. Her voices, singing and saxophone, are already beginning to move away from her mentors: it should be fascinating to hear and see how this artist changes as she grows.
For more information, go to www.mariakimgrand.com.
Here is one of the Trio tracks: