Recommended: Joan Vidal Sextet – “Illusionary Rhythms”


Joan Vidal - "Illusionary Rhythms"A beautiful and engaging session from the Joan Vidal SextetIllusionary Rhythms seeks to give an interpretation of the piano works of composer György Ligeti, with some additional touches upon the works of Béla Bartòk, Conlon Nancarrow and Johannes Ockeghem.  This marks the second time that Vidal has gone with an artist-based theme, with his previous release The Deptford Suite adapting novelist Robertson Davies’ “Deptford Trilogy” from print to music.

The most appealing aspect of this recording are the shifts from serene to animated.  Lovely woodwind passages are beams of moonlight struck through on a clear, starry night.  But it rarely stays that way.  Rhythms develop into ever-expanding cycles, folding over one another until it becomes impossible to differentiate between lines of development.  Saxophone solos are spurred ahead with electric bass and drum grooves.  Slowly exhaling piano sections shift dramatically into punctuated tempos and languorously swaying melodies.  And it never stays the same and the ensemble never retraces its steps… the rhythmic diversity remains unbroken from first note to last.

Released in 2013, this album has repeatedly made its way back into my listening rotation.  Maybe it should be a part of yours, too.

Your album personnel:  Joan Vidal (drums), Gabriel Amargant (tenor sax, clarinet), Martí Serra (tenor & soprano sax), Marco Mezquida (piano), Adrià Plana (guitar), and Miguel Serna (electric bass).

Released in 2013 on Jazzgranollers Records.

Jazz from the Barcelona scene.

Available at:  eMusic | Amazon MP3

Also, I highly recommend Robertson Davies’ “Deptford Trilogy,” the novels that Vidal’s first album were based upon.  The trilogy consists of the individual novels “Fifth Business,” “The Manticore,” and “World of Wonders.”  I read them all about ten years ago, and I still find myself thinking back upon them from time to time.  Here’s a link to where you can pick it up–> The Deptford Trilogy at Amazon