Ramon Prats (drums)
Don Malfon (alto sax)
Iván González (trumpet)
Tom Chant (tenor sax)
Marcel·lí Bayer (soprano sax, flute)
Àlex Reviriego (bass)
Okay, this is becoming a habit. But this windowless little cavern really does play host to a great and creative (and mercurial) weekly free jazz session. What’s more, it’s free in the ‘gratis’ sense of the word too (although the ‘hat’ is passed at the end and it would be the height of bad manners not to show some appreciation). And, the musicians are all highly skilled, expressive and innovative players*. What more could you want? So, what happened this week?
There’s the usual seemingly chaotic exploration at the beginning. Although there’s nothing competitive here (far from it) there is a resemblance to the start of a race in that all the runners are together in a pack and it takes a while to separate them out, to note their individual positions and styles. But tonight, the moment of initial crystallisation comes early, in a four-horn slice of sound (I’d say “sheet” but that expression has been practically copyrighted since 1959) that demonstrates a perfect intuitive unity. Once that’s established, people can start sitting back or out, easing down, settling into the long haul and thereby creating vistas of space in which each can create in turn. Of course, aurally, it’s a lot more complex than that – in reality, words are limited and I don’t have a clue what’s happening but I do know that it’s a highly addictive, in-the-moment, listening experience that every now and then touches the transcendental.
Unusually, this was a single 50+ minute performance… and was that a recording device I spied from my seat at the back? Who knows, maybe this is the next release on Discordian, maybe not. Either way, it was worth recording and I wouldn’t say no to a copy. Until next week…
*(As an indicator of the quality of musician in the room, a couple of days later, Ramon Prats won musician of the year, band of the year, and album of the year at the AMJM awards.)