Guillermo Klein: piano; Bill McHenry: tenor saxophone; Chris Cheek: soprano, tenor and baritone saxophones; Miguel Zenon: alto saxophone; Diego Urcola: trumpet, trombone; Richard Nant: trumpet; Sandro Tomasi: trombone; Taylor Haskins: trumpet; Ben Monder: guitar; Fernando Huergo: electric bass; Jeff Ballard: drums.
Argentine-born Guillermo Klein is not merely a refined pianist but also a magnificent composer, arranger, and bandleader. In addition to these talents, he only hires musicians of superior quality to be part of his projects.
Los Guachos, an 11-piece ensemble project that has been active since 1999, has its fifth album released on the Sunnyside Records.
“Los Guachos V” interweaves postmodern jazz and modern classical, but Klein also throws in elements of Argentinean folklore to pepper his well-seasoned dishes.
The album, relying on the concepts of symmetries, patterns, and variations, is composed of two suites and two loose ballads that completely fit in the process.
Klein initiates this journey with the sophisticated three-piece suite entitled Indiana, which includes a hopping and uncompromising interpretation of Miles Davis’ “Donna Lee”, in an arrangement populated with profuse rhythmic counterpoints and featuring Chris Cheek on the baritone sax.
The following 7 tunes are portions of the rich Suite Jazmin whose symmetric ends are precisely entitled “Symmetry I” and “Symmetry II”. In the middle, we are pushed into memorable places with “Si No Sabes”, in its variations of 4/4 and in 9/8, and two 'mirrors' of Klein’s previous compositions: the hypnotically languid “Burrito Hill”, first recorded for the album “Carrera”, and the stylized “Human Feel”, a piece retrieved from “Bienestan”, an album co-led by Klein and Aaron Goldberg. Only Ben Monder and Diego Urcola had green light to improvise. All the rest is pure teamwork.
The album closes with two resplendent ballads - Andrew Hill’s little-known “Ashes” is a 19-bar form that saw the daylight in Greg Osby’s “Invisible Hands”, while Klein’s “Quemando Velas” is a touching piece layered with harmonious sounds.
“Los Guachos V” is a magical record that unveils the art of reinventing jazz today with insight and finesse. Guillermo Klein, an erudite visionary, is the man to follow.
02 – Donna Lee ► 05 – Si No Sabes 4/4 ► 07 – Burrito Hill Mirror