Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album: Oriol Roca Trio – “Mar”


Sunday morning is when the serenity comes down.  Sunday morning is the cocoon from the heavy exhaustion of too much Saturday night fun.  Sunday morning is when the city agrees to use its inside voice.  Sunday morning is when a hush settles in over the land.  It is a time for sitting still and listening to quiet music and silently praying the aspirin and coffee do something to stop your head from exploding.  Drama and stress are strictly forbidden on Sunday morning.  Your Sunday Morning Jazz Album is just for you, for times just like these.

It’s an uneasy serenity Oriol Roca settles into on his new recording Mar.  All of the ingredients necessary for a strong dose of tranquility are present: melodic fragments suggestive of possible endings, the murmur of percussion like slow, easy breaths while dreaming, and highly-charged, vivid imagery.  But the drummer, along with his trio of pianist Giovanni Di Domenico and double bassist Manolo Cabras achieve a tone that is subtly ominous and reveals a strange beauty.

“Cançó Sense Lletra” begins like a thick fog, allowing only brief glimpses of the melody hidden within.  But gradually, and almost imperceptibly, it attains a momentum that cycles back upon itself, creating a layered, melodic repetition.  The result is a presence far more dangerous than that which the song was introduced with.  It’s a similar effect on “Straight Line,” in which a wisp of a melody becomes more imposing, as if it were a slowly rising tide.

A few tracks mimic the act of slowly waking up and getting ready for the rest of the Sunday.  “In Dyotta” and “You’re not Maurice Chevalier” twitter with life and roll out a tempo that’s ready to run.  But nothing they’ve got is anything that’ll interfere with the solemn atmosphere of a peaceful Sunday morning.  Nor is it anything that clashes with those tracks that present a more contemplative demeanor.

You need this album today, right now.

  • Artist-Title:  Oriol Roca Trio – Mar
  • Personnel:  Oriol Roca (drums), Giovanni Di Domenico (piano) and Manolo Cabras (double bass).
  • Proper Use:  1) Something to help get the brain fired up as the New York Times crossword puzzle calls out to you, 2) A soundtrack for cats chasing after the toy mice you launch across the room, or 3) Mapping out your day as you plan the rest of your weekend, and before the Monday morning blues begin their inexorable creep into your subconscious.

Released in 2017 on El Negocito Records.

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

Music from Barcelona.

Available at:  Bandcamp | Amazon