In the Trance series, contrasting with his latest works, Javier approaches composition through the use of small written musical ideas giving improvisation greater importance. Most of the Trance series pieces are based in three sections. Each section is based on the repetition of short looped contrasting motives. Said repetition spirit leads the musicians to a kind of trance state that has its culmination with improvisation, by which the musicians become part of the compositional process in real-time giving a prominent place to the musical interplay.
Following the common jazz standards form, the music is presented in a simple exposition-improvisation-re-exposition structure where the improvised sections are predominant. Each musician plays his solo over a different looped section that starts with the written music but where it goes is always uncertain. The lack of dependence on the rhythm section makes each member try to adapt and explore different roles within the group and the individuality of each musician allows the music to transform and evolve spontaneously.
When listening to the Trance trio, we find completely improvised parts, complex written counterpoints, accented rhythms and textures resulting in a “fresh” project with an eclectic style that utilizes elements from Argentinian folk music, free improvisation, classical music and contemporary jazz.
About the music:
Trance#1 (single) is the first piece of the series and is the one that settled the structure and compositional aesthetics for the following ones. As was described before, the music is based on small repeated motives, starting with the saxophone vamp, the first section is constructed with the intermittent appearance of the drums and guitar chords and finally with the one-note based melody on the guitar. The following section maintains the saxophone motif but contrasts with augmented plucked chords on the guitar following a kind of Uruguayan Candombe rhythm. The third and final section of the composition works as a conclusion, making a contrast between a saxophone ostinato playing a one-note melody that is completed by a guitar arpeggio in three over four times and followed by the drums crescendo over the cymbals. Following the exposition, the guitar solo is played over the first section starting with a groovy duo with the drums and, after the saxophone appearance, the music passes smoothly to a crescendo drums’ solo over the second section. Finally, the saxophone solo starts with a free dialogue with the drums while the guitar plays the third section in loop. After the saxophone solo climax, the music goes abruptly to the re-exposition.
Trance#8 is a free improvisation based piece, following a series of chords that are played following a textural approach.
Trance#2 (single), following the model established by Trance#1, has three sections. Starting with a 6/8 groove based on the Argentinean folkloric rhythms, then it goes over a strummed chord sequence and concludes with a saxophone and drums unison melody. The first solo, led by the saxophone is presented over a guitar ostinato that is concluded by a free improvised moment that works as a transition for the re-exposition that finishes with a coda over the strummed chords which is repeated in loop following an accelerando until the end.
Solo#2 interrupts the Trance series presenting a song approach that starts with a guitar solo exposition. This is a melodic piece based in a slow Candombe rhythm. Solo#2 makes part of another series of Subatin’s compositions that is gaining shape over his discography. In his first recording, Autotelic, the first Solo# is included and in his following recording, Variaciones, the Solo#3 makes part of the tracks. The Solo# series is based on pieces that originally were created for solo guitar.
Trance#5 is a piece inspired in the Argentinean folkloric rhythm called Chacarera.
C Jam Blues by Duke Ellington is presented in the form of a 5 times measure arrangement that follows the Trance series aesthetics. The improvised solos of guitar and saxophone start without accompaniment and then the other instruments appear in order to give a conclusion to the soloist ideas. In this arrangement, it is possible to find Keith Jarrett influences reminding The Windup track from the Belonging recording.
In Trance#4, we found once again the folkloric influences of Subatin’s Argentinean roots, presented in a piece that oscillates between major and minor tonality.
released November 15, 2020
All tracks composed by Javier Subatin except C Jam Blues by Duke Ellington
Recorded at Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Javier Subatin
Thanks to Raquel Nobre G., Carlos Caires and Carlos Marecos
Javier Subatin (guitar and composition - arrangements in ‘C Jam Blues’ by Duke Ellington)
Daniel Sousa (alto saxophone)
Diogo Alexandre (drums)
"The rhythmic and harmonic elements of jazz emerge in the place that the history of the genre was destined for, and the
melodic work is what we could expect from the intersection of the post-bop tradition with the music of its author's geographical origins, but the way in which it deals with these parameters make the recognizable, the usual, something completely different." (Rui Eduardo Paes)...more
An instant classic! The moment I put this music into my headphones, I knew this was something special. After that, I just had to dig into Pharoah Sanders discogrpahy. Sanders was already a giant of Jazz. But this last release, 18 months before his death can just elevate his reputation even higher. Rest in peace Pharoah! Alex Deschênes