Ricardo Grilli: guitar; Aaron Parks: piano; Joe Martin: bass; Eric Harland: drums.
“1954” is the title of the sophomore album of originals from the Brazilian-born New York-based guitarist Ricardo Grilli, who was joined here by a tremendous team of musicians: Aaron Parks on piano, Joe Martin on bass, and Eric Harland on drums.
Following the recent trends of jazz and influenced by his own past and the Space Age, Grilli packs up nine tunes that disclose influences from diverse styles.
On the first track, “Arcturo”, his sustained guitar strumming lays anchor in rock, fantastically honed in by Harland. The guitarist uses most of the guitar arm for a brisk improvisation that encompasses several octaves, showcasing his abilities as a soloist.
The repose of “Breathe”, a modern cha cha cha with soft harmonic textures and no improvisations, is repeated in “Rings”, a soaring ballad that finds support in the beauty of its relentless chord progression.
The galloping “Radiance”, inhabiting in a fusion universe of jazz, rock, and pop, is arranged with intrepid guitar riffs, implacable rhythms, and culminates with warmly expressive solos by Parks and the bandleader.
“Cosmonauts” hits a darker side, suggesting mystery and uncertainty. Our apprehension turns into amazement when we listen to Parks’ motivating solo. One can find a certain Brazilian lyricism in the tune’s melody and glimpses of Radiohead in Grilli’s fingerpicking.
The last tune, “Pulse”, leaves behind any connotation with the pop/rock universe and swings along in a hasty pace, resorting to well-known bebop dialects. Besides the fluidity of the guitarist and composer, we have estimable improvisations by Martin and Parks.
Ricardo Grilli sharpens his voice, liberates his creativity, and delivers a consistent new album.
04 – Radiance ► 07 – Cosmonauts ► 09 – Pulse