JULIAN ARGÜELLES — Tonadas (review)

JULIAN ARGÜELLES — Tonadas album cover Album · 2018 · Post-Fusion Contemporary Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
snobb
UK-born Graz, Austria-based sax player Julian Argüelles last year arranged (and conducted) his first big band album ("Behemoth") for one of my British scene favourites - Phronesis, with big success. Four days ago he released a new album as leader, so I just need to hear how does it sound.

Argüelles leads a quartet with pianist-drummer-bassist, what generally looks like it could be Phronesis (reed-less trio) plus Argüelles himself. The similarity is even closer since the participating Argüelles quartet pianist is no one else but Ivo Neame, Phronesis' founding member.

"Tonadas" (or "tunes" in Spanish) is a beautiful collection of lively chamber songs. Dominating Latin titles possibly show the source of inspiration for the author, but the music itself is not really Latin-influenced. One can think of this as Phronesis improved with a sax player soloist playing more relaxed music than usual. Pianist Neave has more freedom here compared to his work on Phronesis albums, and he really shines on smart and swinging solos.

This album's music is elegant and warm - much more alive and pleasant than many of today's sterile-sounding chamber jazz collectives. Less energetic, it probably will attract a bit different listener than hard Phronesis fans, but in general, "Tonadas" is a nice modern jazz album for widest listener categories.
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