Agustí Martínez (soprano saxophone)
Frédéric Filiatrae (alto saxophone)
Àlex Reviriego (bass)
Ramon Prats (drums)
After the preliminary (almost mandatory) frenzy of exploration, the four musicians find each other and settle into an angular collaboration, full of sparks as individual contributions rub up against each other. During a fast hour of tight free improvisation, Martínez alternates between delicate filigree playing and almost late Coltrane-ish excesses. Reviriego squeezes fresh upper register sounds from his strings while not neglecting to provide a riff-based rhythmic propulsion. Filiatrae’s breathy latticework is full of restrained energy. And Prats returns to Robadors 23 (at least, I haven’t seen him here in a while) full of clatter and brio, sounding like a drum kit falling down a flight of stairs with perfect tone, timing and volume.
Reviriego is keenly aware of the dynamic shifts almost before they happen and as he charts the ups and downs, Filiatrae adds constantly shifting texture. Meanwhile, Prats is never less than sensitive and Martínez gives every appearance of a man pushing his very soul through the mouthpiece. Maybe it’s Martínez’ presence – the only musician here I’ve not seen live before – but this evening’s improvisation seems to draw on jazz roots and influences a little more than usual. Alongside the sound for pure sound’s sake, there are recurring riffs and phrases that leave me feeling this particular gathering of four are in search of a tune; spontaneous, experimental and fragmentary, but a tune nonetheless. And as far as I’m concerned, they found it.