Release date: December 1, 2008
After the big success of “Sausolito”, his first album as leader, Iñaki Sandoval presents “Usaquén”, his new album recorded with his stable trio, featuring Horacio Fumero on bass and David Xirgu on drums. Iñaki Sandoval has become in recent years as one of the most important Spanish jazz pianists. The critics highlight his transparent and impeccable technique, combining the traditional language of jazz with a contemporary personal style of writing.
The trío sounds powerful and virtuous in up tempos and amalgam metrics, without sacrificing lyricism and beauty on the ballads, leaving also space for the showcasing of the three individual jazzmen. All the songs from “Usaquén” are original compositions, including two songs written by bassist Horacio Fumero. Out of the 14 tracks of the CD, of generous length (69 minutes), we can highlight tracks as “Hotel Existence”, “Usaquén”, “Alejo’s Pub” or “Peewy”, dedicated to the memory of Peer Wyboris, who played drums in “Sausolito”, and died a few days after this recording was made. The CD edition contains two bonus tracks: a new version of “Luna Llena” and a piano solo version of “Usaquén”.
A first class record that will make a big impact this season!
Released by AYVA Music (2018)
Review by Carlos Pérez Cruz, El Club de Jazz (January 2009)
A phrase by the Greek poet Píndaro (whose birth is dated around 518 BC) presides over the austere libretto of this Usaquén by Iñaki Sandoval: That which is beautiful is by necessity. Iñaki says that with that phrase it is avoided to explain in The text of the music; the music speaks for itself, if it had to do so with words, maybe something is wrong, he thinks. Whatever the reason, Iñaki has spared us the torture of reading the traditional praiseworthy text of the commissioned pen (which In addition, in many cases it becomes a lyrical exercise of the author) or the also usual formative and professional profile that has a tendency to fill (as one day I came across X on Calle X, it is part of my biography).
That Iñaki Sandoval has saved words does not prevent him from giving us a few clues of Usaquén’s musical content with a foreign phrase. The phrase of the Greek poet affects a fundamental concept in Sandoval’s creative sense, beauty. The search for beauty is the ultimate goal pursued by every creator, confesses the pianist in a conversation with a server. But such a statement raises doubts: what do we understand by beauty? It is likely that for many, beauty is linked to what we call beautiful, pleasing to the senses. And yet, on many occasions the beauty that instills in us spiritual delight (read definition of “Beauty” from the RAE) and that makes us love Art has little or nothing to do with a commonly accepted conception of aesthetic beauty. Great works in the history of Art (and Music) are far from being accepted by the majority as beautiful or beautiful and yet they produce in many that spiritual delight and awaken love (even addiction). Beauty is not always comfortable on the ears or pleasing to the eye.
That said, and in order not to fall into the defect of the custom nib, the beauty in this Usaquén can be assumed by those who conceive it as friendly and also by those who are allergic to sugar. There is no sugar but there is intimacy and musical lyrics in this second record project by the Navarrese pianist after his debut with Sausolito (2005 – Ayva Music) by the hand of one of the rhythms of Tete Montoliu, that of Horacio Fumero (double bass) and Peer Wyboris (battery). After the German (to whom the album is dedicated) has passed away, Sandoval renews the trio with the incorporation of David Xirgu. So there are three generations, three decades, which come together around Sandoval’s compositions (with the exception of a couple of Fumero’s songs and one signed by all three). And the result is a good job of composition, rapport and musical quality (and warmth) that shows a rigor and seriousness worthy of attention. Every detail is pampered and yet not closed. The music flows with a carefree naturalness, as if he were out for a walk with his hands behind his back and his gaze distracted at the landscape. It simply (?) Lets out the baggage of the three that, really, seem one. And the classic formation of Sandoval appears, constructing a musical language that sounds its own, in which languages do not delimit border territories but rather naturally form part of it.
Iñaki Sandoval has sensitivity and talent. He gives the feeling that he knows how to move cautiously, that he knows the risk of compulsive decision-making, and that he allows ideas to take their time and accept his circumstances. And that does not abound in this time in which greenhouses allow to obtain gender but at the cost of corrupting its natural rhythm. And true music (like true Art) needs time and space. Iñaki Sandoval’s sounds real. Now in a threesome, but ever solo? I hope so because when he points it out he promises. But if Pindar is right that will only happen if he comes out of necessity. Without it, Art is papier-mâché. “
USAQUÉN was elected as 2nd Best Spanish Jazz Record of 2008 by JAÇ Magazine
Jazz Granada Magazine also choose USAQUÉN as 2nd Best National record of 2008