THIS IS MUSIC FOR THE TIME AFTER. After so many trends and the aftermath of 20th century’s aesthetical propositions this is music that re ects into itself and contem- plates itself on a historical mirror without recurring to the alibi of the “tribute”. This is music that, as poet Ezra Pound said, assumes “the tradition is a beauty we preserve and not a set of fetters to bind us.”
Somebody may say JAVIER RED picks up where Chicago pioneer Lennie Tristano had left his experiences of organized freedom. And it wouldn’t be wrong. This is cool and smart music, shamelessly intellectual. It is both highly conceptual and very focused on vindicating the craft, the careful embroidering of the musical tapestry.
In a time in which the mainstream jazz language usually embraced by club owners and festival and radio programmers is some sort of inconsequential neo-bop, taught in colleges all over the country, Javier Red and his musical partners immerse themselves in a deep and long process of collective melodic, harmonic and rhythmic quest.
Not unlike Tristano’s, Javier’s music is extraordinarily demanding on the musicians be- cause of the level of skills expected from them but also because of the deep commitment that it is required to perform it. Knowing your changes, patterns and scales is not enough to play this music in which the form is reinvented for each composition and where shifting time signatures and bi-tonal or polytonal passages bring the complexity of Igor Stravinsky, Bela Bartok and the Mexican genius Silvestre Revueltas right into the 21st century jazz alchemy.
Javier Red moved to Chicago from Mexico City in 2015. In 2001, together with Jose Gurria (L.A. Gurrisonic Orchestra) he founded the Ethos Trio, performing at the International Festival Meet in Beijing, China and the Washington Kennedy Center, among other venues. In 2006 he met Matt Davis (NY based guitar player & Manhattan School of Music guitar faculty mem- ber). They presented their music in New York, Philadelphia and Mexico City, recording a Duo Album “En Nuestros Viajes”. He has played in some of the most important venues in Mexico, such as Palacio de Bellas Artes and CENART, as well as important venues around the world such as Beijing Haidan Centre, Washington Kennedy Center, and Notre Dame University DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. He has been invited for multiple festivals such as Eurojazz, Fes- tival Cervantino, Havana-Cuba Jazz Festival, and Lima Jazz Festival among others. In Chicago, Javier Red and his quartet have encountered a very welcoming environment at “Constellation”. – ELBIO BARILARI (Artistic Director at Delmark Records).
GUSTAVO CORTIÑAS: a graduate of Loyola University New Orleans (BM Jazz, Minor in Philoso- phy, Magna Cum Laude, 2011), and Northwestern University (MM Jazz, 2013), Gustavo Cortiñas has developed a successful career in the US for over a decade, as a leader or as a member of different bands in venues and festivals in North America, Latin America, Asia, and Europe. “Cor- tiñas’ music is uplifting, robust, melodic, and gets your body moving; it’s an exciting blend of the artist’s musical in uences from jazz and Latin American, including his native Mexico” – Down Beat magazine. “With the cohesive and captivating Esse, Cortiñas has created superb work that balances refreshingly inventive ideas with high-caliber musicianship. This exquisite and continu- ously gripping record is a testament to Cortiñas’ triple threat of skills as dynamic performer, agile bandleader and brilliant composer.” – Hrayr Attarian, Chicago Jazz Magazine
During his time in Chicago, Gustavo has become one of the most sought out drummers, per- forming and recording with Javier Red, Kitt Lyles’ Real Talk, Erik Skov’s Liminality, Emily Kuhn’s Helios, Roy McGrath Quartet, and the Carla Campopiano Trio, among other ensembles. Cortiñas is a member of the Chicago Jazz Composer’s Collective, performing regularly for their monthly residency at Chicago’s Green Mill. Currently, with a grant from the Mexican National Endow- ment of the Arts (FONCA), Gustavo is working on his third and most ambitious project as a leader: a musical journey which traces through thirteen compositions, the poetic and tragic history set by Eduardo Galeano in his book: “The Open Veins of Latin America”.
JAKE WARK is a saxophonist, composer, and improviser based in Chicago. Jake was born and raised in Rochester, New York, where he resided until completing his undergraduate studies at Nazareth College. Upon moving to Chicago in 2014 to pursue a graduate degree in music at DePaul University, he quickly became immersed in the city’s vibrant improvised music scene.
Jake can be regularly heard with his own quartet and as a collaborator in Four Letter Words, Bowlcut, and Javier Red’s Imagery Converter. Jake has appeared as a bandleader and collaborator at many prominent venues and festivals across the northeast and mid- west, including the Chicago Jazz Festival, Constellation, The Green Mill, Elastic Arts, The Hungry Brain, The Bop Stop, The Jazz Showcase, and the Rochester Fringe Festival.
BEN DILLINGER is a bass player based in Chicago. He was born in Chicago and completed his undergraduate studies at Roosevelt University and pursued a graduate degree in music at DePaul University. Ben can be regularly heard with Jake Wark’s quartet, Kyle Madsen’s trio, Astro Samurai band, and Javier Red’s Imagery Converter. Bill has performed at many prominent venues and festivals across the northeast and midwest, including the Constel- lation, The Green Mill, Elastic Arts, and The Hungry Brain, among others. —
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