Ignasi Terraza, Adruan Cunningham & Esteve Pi | Unusual Trio (September 2022)

The veteran Spanish pianist Ignasi Terraza, one of the most internationally recognized Spanish jazzmen, has recently published a new work entitled “Unusual Trio”. Any musical movement by Terraza deserves to be carefully and carefully observed. On this occasion he is accompanied by the Australian located in New York, Adrian Cunningham (Rene Marie, Fred Hersch, Randy Brecker, Chris Potter, Wycliffe Gordon, Geri Allen, Joe LaBarbera, Steve Jordan, Cecile Mclorin Salvant, Reginald Veal, Bob Mintzer, Wynton Marsalis…) with the clarinet, flute and tenor sax and the also Spanish Esteve Pi (Johnny Griffin, Perico Sambeat, Ximo Tebar, Peter Erskine, Iñaki Salvador, Albert Bover, Mike Phillip Mossman, Albert Sanz, Chano Domínguez, Andrea Motis…) to battery. Miriam Guardiola (MG) provides her voice on one of the songs on the album.

The composition of the trio can be striking. I say this because of the absence of the double bass. But the truth is that Jelly Roll Morton, Teddy Wilson or Nat King Cole himself, among many others, have already tried this formula. Today, trios are not uncommon in which the instruments are combined in the most diverse way and with very good results. And Terraza does the same with this trio.

I group the themes of the album into three blocks. The first, the one corresponding to third-party themes, with a lot of swing. A swing that can be seen from the first note of “Cakewalk” (Oscar Peterson), continues with the famous “Stompin’ At The Savoy” (Benny Goodman, Andy Razaf, Edgar Sampson, Chick Webb), does not decay at all with “ Handful Of Keys” (Fats Waller), “Splittin’” (Ray Bryant), “Scoot” (Neal Hefti) with a Latin rhythm and “Opus De Funk” (Horace Silver). In all these songs Cunningham is outstanding, as well as Terraza’s piano and Pi’s drums.

A second block, made up of slower songs like “I’ll Never Be The Same” (Gus Kahn, Matty Malneck, Frank Signorelli), “Thad’s Pad” (Thad Jones) and I leave for the end of this group of songs, the fabulous “Mood Indigo” (Barney Bigard, Duke Ellington, Irving Mills) and the wonderful “The Man I Love” (George Gershwin). They make excellent quality recreations of these last two themes.

A third block is formed by the themes composed by Terraza. These are “A Free Karma”, “Jo Vinc” and “The Hamelin Waltz” in which Terraza shows his ability as a composer. All three are full of “Terraza” style and don’t clash at all with the rest of the tracks on the album.

I leave “O Grande Amor” (Vinícius de Moraes, Antônio Carlos Jobim) for last, a beautiful bossa where, at the end of the song, after a very successful intervention by Cunningham, Miriam Guardiola sings. A nice way to close the album.

Terraza with his clean and swinging touch (swing is in his DNA) delights us with his refined technique and sensitivity. Cunningham is fantastic, showing that he is an international star and Pi rounds out the trio with his happy and restrained rhythm, as appropriate, driving the rest of the teammates.

To enjoy.

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