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Quinoa

Jun 01, 2012

This disc was on the point of being aptly entitled “Arquitectura para una melancolía”. The first recording by Jerónimo Martín (Piedraescrita, Errabal 2006) anticipated in trio format the virtues expressed here with the neatest of handwriting: a restrained elegance in the mise en scène, an interesting balance between doubts and certainties… and without doubt, something akin to melancholy that used to string the musical discourse together and which continues to do so with a certain mood. 

An unquestionable architectural calling also emanates from this work, a happy sacrifice of chaos and exploration in favour of conciseness and the narrative logic of the various biographical parts that fill it out. Jerónimo is the liquid that lubricates the emotional motor of this lively, romantic and reflective music of urban dawns and dusks, of mists and rain showers. Its poetry is elevated and elevates us, but it never strikes us as pretentious.

 

The arrangements give priority to colour over the details, but they also afford brief, spirited sketches, like those improvised by Gonzalo Fernández de Larrinoa, Rubén Salvador or Julen Izarra, in a tone brimming with hope.  Their voices submit themselves or are thrown into confusion in harmony, like on the vinyl discs of the most vulnerable Mingus, or Charlie Haden of the great formations, with the solid rhythmic push of Hilario Rodeiro and Javier Mayor, who convey breath and character.

 

Jerónimo Martín claims no prominence for himself, his piano simply delimits the basic outline, like a voice-over that broadly describes the scenario or roughly declaims the most intimate passages in the first person.

 

As the disc progresses, the certainties end up overcoming the doubts until the completing of a new, scenic, coherent whole, which feeds on folklore (Tívoli) and is inspired by classical aesthetics; perhaps it isn’t even jazz at all, at least, not as an African American would conceive it.  The essence of this music is not its own swing, not its free interaction. Its ultimate aim is simply to accompany the listener through a story expressed with an almost symphonic style, which eschews affectation by consciously imposing meaning over feeling, but without renouncing the emotions that belong to it: hope (Claridad), self-pity (5 de Mayo), unleashed temper (Obertura) or the joy of knowing that you are simply alive (Tutto per amore).

 

Quinoa transcends because it impregnates. Like the city smells evoked by Antonio, the city that beats at every set of traffic lights in some of the farewells in Cinemascope.