At first it might seem like a strange combination. Peruvian born Alex Acuña (drums, percussion) teaming with Norwegian musicians Jan Gunnar Hoff (grand piano, keyboards) and Per Mathisen (electric and acoustic upright bass). You will have to trust me, this is a terrific trio.
Acuña (formerly of Weather Report) first joined with Hoff and Mathisen and released Jungle City (2009) followed by the DVD In Concert (2011). These three musicians are world class as the musicianship is both breathtaking and first class all the way. After listening to their latest CD Barxeta suffice to say I was duly impressed. There is a synchronicity amongst these three musicians that is hard to find and while all three shine throughout displaying individual chops this is truly a band effort. 'Elegant' might be the word that best describes this set of tunes.
The album starts with "Belarus" combining beautiful piano with proggy keys and synths making for tasteful and thought provoking jazz fusion. The second track "Grande Castelar" is more upbeat opening with synth/keys and lively drum work. The use of keyboards definitely adds a progressive quality. With "Embrace" the trio goes for a more traditional jazz sound. The acoustic bass and piano is particularly tasty. "Latineando" is a percussion driven number showcasing Acuña's Latin roots while the laid back title track invokes dreamy atmospherics with gently cascading piano and stunning fretless bass. The rest of the album is equally impressive.
This is high quality jazz fusion made by three seasoned musicians of the highest caliber. Barxeta is both classy and graceful, stylishly executed with a flair that is often sought after but seldom heard.
1. Belarus (8:29)
2. Grande Castelar (4:50)
3. Embrace (6:12)
4. Latineando (3:30)
5. Barxeta (6:08)
6. Tu Amor (6:15)
7. Havana Drive (4:40)
8. Indochina (5:05)
9. Winds Of Faith (5:30)
10. Abogat Funk (3:49)
11. La Sangria del Sr. Manzano (5:52)
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