May 24 2014
One of those under-the-radar albums that has really been floating my boat is the self-titled new release by Peregrinos, a duo of guitarist Raimundo Santander and drummer Rodrigo Recabarren. It’s a Chilean Jazz recording at its heart, but, intriguingly, it accents its music with the influence of the NYC post-bop scene that Recabarren now calls his home.
The immediate evidence of this approach is second track “Huellas en el Cielo,” in which Santander arranges a confluence of tracks by bop saxophonist Wayne Shorter and Chilean folklorist Violeta Parra. Breezy rhythmic interludes of steel stringed guitar highlight an abounding peacefulness that resonates far greater than might seem possible from its tiny sound. Title track “Peregrinos” charts a different course to the same location, slowly unwinding a Chilean folk tune, then concluding it with something more akin to the NYC post-bop scene.
Breezy, tranquil tunes are the norm on this personable recording. “Niño Luchín” develops an hypnotic cadence, which it then shatters with a gorgeously stunning guitar outro. A track like “Parsimonia” keep things sunny and light, and the music, though comporting itself with a calm restraint, provides the sense of a vast horizon. Reminiscent in that way guitarist Diego Barber creates big music with small sounds, Peregrinos makes the act of delivering an expansive sound seem effortless.
NYC saxophonist Joshua Kwassman guests on “For Our Last Day,” one of the few tracks that wasn’t drawn up by Santander. The addition of saxophone provides some satisfying depth and texture to music that typically fades to serenity. “Sube” is the other upbeat album track, and has Recabarren charging ahead on drums while Santander shifts from a snappy folk music intro to closer out with an electric guitar burn. The cadence throughout is sharp and to the point.
But those are the outliers. The album ends in more typical fashion with “Mapu,” a song that incites trance through gentle rhythms and personality through ambient, peculiar folkloric expressions.
I’m quite taken with this recording.
Your album personnel: Raimundo Santander (guitars), Rodrigo Recabarren (drums, percussion), and guest: Joshua Kwassman (alto sax).
Released on Discos Pendiente.
Santander is part of the Santiago, Chile scene while Recabarren is now part of the Brooklyn scene.
The cool cover art by Sol Diaz.