Recommended: Vitral Saxophone Quartet – “Kites Over Havana”


Kites Over Havana is more than a titular reference on the newest from the Vitral Saxophone Quartet.  Their sound adopts the motion of flight to fascinate, comfort and inspire.  There’s how fluttering melodies followed by quick bursts of forward momentum keep the ear locked in tight and attuned for the next sudden shift in tempo.  On “Kites,” both piano and clarinet keep spurring the motion higher and higher above saxophone harmonies, whereas on “Wapango” and “Berceuse Campesina,” the effect is much the same but unaccompanied by other instruments and at speeds more attuned to graceful aeronautics.  And there’s how that contrasts with the solemn tones of “Berceuse” and “La Nana,” whose motion is more akin to soaring peacefully across the sky and crossing the face of the sun.

The saxophone quartet has its origin in classical, and the formal grace of these pieces honors those roots, while at the same time, the delightful excitability displays the medium’s mutability to a jazz medium.  Paquito D’Rivera‘s guiding hand doesn’t attempt to differentiate between the two forms of expression.  In fact, it often holds both in his grasp simultaneously.  Unsurprisingly, the quartet is at its strongest when it brings these different forms of expression together.  The culmination of that effort shines strongest on the three-part “Cuarteto Latino Americano para Saxofones” suite.  At times buoyant and other times reverential, the music conjures up imagery just begging to be married to a story.  And perhaps it already is.

Your album personnel:  Oscar Gongora (soprano sax), Roman Filiu (alto sax), Alejandro Rios (alto & tenor saxophones), Raul Cordies (baritone sax) and guests:  Paquito D’Rivera (clarinet, soprano sax), Yosvany Terry (tenor sax, shekere), Dr. Paul Cohen (C melody saxophone), Dr. Adonis Gonzalez (piano).

Released on Sunnyside Records.

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

Music from NYC.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon | eMusic