from time to time, i will be posting thoughts about particular recordings that have an impact on me. here is the first - from one of my favorite newer composers and drummers...
Dafnis Prieto - “Si o Si”
Dafnis Prieto, Peter Apfelbaum, Manuel Valera, Charles Flores
Si o Si is reactive to a point. The collective breath of the players seems to support the overall sound and structure of the pieces and the rhythms that glide underneath. Beautiful and articulate cymbal sounds…Dafnis has an obvious understanding of sound and displacement and transparency.
Dafnis’ compositions are meaningful and beautiful and are part of the overall journey in a way that I don’t hear often enough. Check out his earlier recordings to hear his progression as a writer and arranger.
To me, this group, at times, sounds like what a flock of birds maneuvering together would sound like if you could hear them.
Peter Apfelbaum is a brilliant musician. As a percussionist, his understanding of rhythm is comprehensive and physical. As a pianist, his ability to harmonize his rhythmic and melodic ideas is fascinating and moving. As a saxophonist, I hear the history of the instrument played with a unique sound, texture, design and flow. He seems to get stronger the deeper in he gets….it sounds like he is playing himself (and the listener) into a musical trance.
Manuel Valera sounds as though he is lightly pouncing on the piano the way a cat toys with something before devouring it completely…sometimes leaving scraps to make a point. (BTW I love the melodica work by both Manuel & Peter) He fits in really well with Dafnis’ rhythmic concept without crowding him. He is a brilliant soloist with unusual and surprising ideas.
Charles Flores holds the bottom together on bass. He has a beautiful sound in which you can hear a deep foundational understanding of time, rhythm, harmony and the culture of music. His playing further roots these compositions. He helps make it all dance and, to me, this is all dance music.
“Si o Si” is an excellent live recording. Producer (and great bassist/composer/arranger from Toronto), Roberto Occhipinti has a great track record producing Dafnis and I give a big nod to this production and to his obvious support of a great artist and to of one of the great improvisational band of our time. Thanks to you all. I look forward to hearing more music from all of these great artists.