Tim Price wrote the liner notes for Oasis, my new CD project with guitarist/composer Pere Soto. We're still shopping the CD to European record labels and have a few leads so far. We found a record label that really likes, but can't afford the advance we need. They are acting as our agent at the MIDEM international music industry convention. I'm just trying to be patient.
I wanted someone who really understood my playing to write the notes. Tim knew all the teachers I studied with. I also felt that he really appreciated the direction I was headed as well as the musical influences that had shaped my playing. He have been trading our music for years but have never met in person. I'm very happy with how the liner notes turned out. He really understood what we were trying to do with this CD.
"When one considers what makes a meeting of two master musicians interesting, there are several common factors that can be observed throughout the history of jazz. The interest is found in the contrast between a common vocabulary and lineage but interpreted individually which of course is one of the main facets of jazz. In other words, there is enough similarity for some semblance of a unified approach, but at the same time enough differences to attract interest. With David Valdez and Pere Soto the unity and differences are clearly demonstrated.
Stylistically, David and Pere approaches are very distinct. They both stretch the rhythm and harmony, but in completely different ways. David seems to slip and slide around within the framework of a tune in with a wide range of articulations and intervallic choices. He plays with the beat creating a kind of spiraling vortex of sounds. One of the very best modern day alto players!
Pere Soto dives straight into the center of the harmony and pulse using his incredible imagination to create a universe of its own within the structure of the tune. Speed and dexterity are fundamental to his style .Ya know, when I close my eyes and listen to him, it’s amazing.
Finally, there is the sheer joy and camaraderie the David Valdez and Pere Soto of playing and listening to each other. Classic! This disc is stellar and packed with just the kind of experience needed, which is to the advantage of the listener because it brings a relaxed informality to the recording.
Pere in his own way has extended the language on his instrument to a level prominent enough to have a major effect. It has been my feeling that with our culture's emphasis upon and rewarding of conformity rather than originality has been increasingly stifled in the past decade or so. You won't hear that stifled approach here! In his playing you hear the history of jazz!
David Valdez can do so much and has always struck me as rather distinctive on that level as well. He tends to go more directly head to head inside the music. Maybe this translates musically to more chances taken, more densely packed lines, more roughness and use of combinations in the sound.
Most of these tunes allow the artists to use their common language, as a vehicle for creativity and self-expression. It is a vital source of listening experience, I've known Valdez for years musically, and his playing is a vital asset to this music. This disc combines a kind of textural austerity with the sometimes forbiddingly jagged melodies that just make you return to it daily, the results are very attractive.
This new recording by these two modern day masters is a step in a well-needed direction. This excellent project brings together highly respected players whose paths have crossed before in various configurations over the years. As a unit, they authoritatively and creatively play the music on this disc with great personal integrity coupled with intensity and energy, formidable chops and intelligence that recalls the forward thinking.
Hear It! It is something very special.
Here is a link to the title track Oasis.