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Guillermo Klein - Domador de Huellas

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Artist: Guillermo Klein

Album: Domador de Huellas

Label: Sunnyside

Review date: Aug. 20, 2010

The powerful songs of Argentine composer Gustavo “Cuchi” Leguizamon ( 1917-2000) are vividly inventive and original; poetic and lyrical while at the same time drawing intensity from folkloric rhythms and song structures. Rich in intervallic adventure and melodic surprise, they can be thrilling to encounter. Argentine composer/pianist/ bandleader Guillermo Kleins’s creative journey into the essence of Leguizamon’s work is deeply satisfying in the ways it honors that poetry and emotion — and thrilling vividness — within a richly imagined jazz context.

Klein’s acoustic piano voicings are often at the heart of this imagining, as he gives strength and space to the movement of middle voices, manifesting a deliciously transparent juxtaposition of tension and release, of harmonic motion, that is by turns yearning and quietly explosive.

Equal to all this are the other players in the ensemble Los Guachos: Melody and emotion are constant in the playing of trumpeters Richard Nant and Juan Cruz De Urquiza and reed-players Martin Pantyrer and Gustavo Musso. The colors of Rhodes electric piano from Esteban Sehinkman and restless, tactile textures of Matias Mendez’s electric bass weave and flow around and toward each other in fascinating, hypnotic ways. Then there’s drummer Daniel “Pipi” Piazzolla, anchoring and orchestrating all at once with his array of grooves and cross-rhythms. This band plays gloriously and generously together, breathing and dancing as one, yet allowing each voice its individual energy and expression.

The lyrical aspect of Leguizamon’s work is honored and explored here also, with vocal turns from Klein himself — he sings in a gentle, breathy, intimate style — and guest singers Roman Giudice, Liliana Herrero and Carme Canela.

This is music always flowing and focused, arriving at ever-new intersections of line and harmony, and fresh groupings of voices and textures. Most importantly, it is evident that both Klein’s arrangements and the ensemble Los Guachos’ playing have sought and found the heart, soul and body of Leguizamon’s compositions in ways that live and breathe.

By Kevin Macneil Brown

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