Recommended: Arnau Obiols – “Liberrim”


01_guia_digipack_2_palas_1_bandeja_DUPLICATIt’s the way this music shifts between phases of immense orchestration and free improvisation that marks Libèrrim as a winning album.  Drummer Arnau Obiols leads a quintet of trumpeter Pol Padrós, clarinetist Marcel·lí Bayer, cellist Míriam Fèlix and tubist Amaiur González, and sometimes he takes them into the thick of a composition where every step is directed and every footprint’s shape predetermined, but so often these manipulations are not, in fact, enclosures, but instead behave as doorways to passages of wild spells of imagination.

Adopting separate lines to develop as their own creates ripples of melody across the surface of a song, and when they do eventually come together, the weaving motion is one where they all spiral down in unison to the song’s conclusion.  The waves of harmony, especially when tuba and cello are in synch, are some of the more lovely moments you’ll be likely to hear again anytime soon.  When bass clarinet enters the fray, even more so.  Obiols voices his drums with a sympathetic approach, gently urging a melodic foray onto greater heights, framing the harmonic direction in a way that corrals it without obstructing it, and sometimes just adding a burst of ferocity to balance out all the comforting melodic loveliness.

These are all original pieces except for “El Cant de la Sibil·la,” a traditional folk song of Catalonia.  It’s illuminating to see how Obiols’ inventive approach both informs the traditional piece and how his Catalonia roots affect his own compositions.

Just a brilliant recording.

Your album personnel:  Arnau Obiols (drums), Pol Padrós (trumpet), Marcel·lí Bayer (clarinet, bass clarinet), Míriam Fèlix (cello) and Amaiur González (tuba).

Released on Aladid Records.

Listen to more of the album at the artist’s Bandcamp page.

Jazz from the Catalonia, Spain scene.

Available at:  Bandcamp