Aurora Trio

from the liner notes by Agustí Fernández for the CD “A Moment’s Liberty” :

... I believe that the essential thing for us is our shared desire to create an extraordinary, unexpected and unusual moment through music. A moment that cannot, perhaps, be described in words, but which can be perceived perfectly, as one of those fantastic occasions when music bypasses the intellect and is channelled solely through feelings, emotions ...

... I like to define this moment as “the opening”. The moment when the music opens up to the universe, to the unknown, to the unexpected, and, simply, becomes manifested in all its splendour. This is not a permanent, fixed moment or state; rather, it is highly fragile and volatile. But it is this moment that we seek with all our might, with all our senses. To make music is, at best, to conjure it up and, when it appears, to enjoy it and share it ...

... I sincerely believe that this mysterious quality of the moment, its intrinsic freedom, is present and can be appreciated throughout this recording. I should like to thank Barry and Ramón for making the moment possible and for their generosity in sharing it.


AURORA - Maya RecordingsMCD0601

Think Agustí Fernandez meets Barry Guy and you're probably thinking of the kind of deluge of molten lava that characterised the Spanish pianist's volcanic contribution to Guy's Oort-Entropy back in 2005, or his spectacular scrap with Mats Gustafsson on Critical Mass. Add wildcard dynamo percussionist Ramón López to the mix and you've got all the makings of a Fire Music trio of epic proportions, right? Yes, well, right, but if you won't get any of that here. In fact, if this had been recorded by Jan Erik Kongshaug up in Rainbow Studios in Oslo or by Martin Wieland in Tonstudio Bauer in Ludwigsburg, it'd be perfectly at home in the ECM catalogue. Indeed, it makes for an interesting comparison with the 1998 Paul Bley / Gary Peacock / Paul Motian reunion outing on ECM, Not Two, Not One (though López's flick / splatter percussion probably has more in common with the work of Tony Oxley, so perhaps In The Evenings Out There would be a more sensible choice, even if that was recorded seven years earlier). Fernandez has penned all the tunes on offer, with the exception of Guy's "Odyssey" (previously recorded on the Barry Guy New Orchestra Inscape-Tableaux album), and they're unashamedly tonal throughout, revealing a side to the pianist's playing that aficionados of Fire Music are probably unfamiliar with (though closer listening to the Fernandez discography reveals a strong current of lyricism, even romanticism – check out Dark night, and luminous with Marilyn Crispell). And Guy, whose spiky virtuosity has been a cornerstone of aggressive modernism in both free and contemporary classical music for nearly 40 years, proves he's just as good at running up and down the standard scales as Eddie Gomez or Dave Holland. López's flecks of tabla, brushes and rattles are a good foil to it all: though he can, when he wants to, ride that cymbal as well as Jon Christensen (on "Rosalia"), he's really in his element sprinkling tiny showers of colour and light over the canvas. With a more conventional drummer like Motian behind the kit it could all too easily sound sentimental, even maudlin. As it is, it might be a little too pretty for hardcore free jazzers, but if you're prepared for once to accept that there's more to life than blowing the other guy (no puns intended) into the Oort cloud, this is a welcome reminder that music can also be tender, subtle and unashamedly beautiful.
(Dan Warburton)

MORNING GLORY - Maya RecordingsMCD1001

Das Jazzpodium schreibt über ihre Doppel-CD MORNING GLORY (Maya Recordings): "Dieses Trio ist mehr oder weniger die Inkarnation des Geistes der freien Improvisation in der aktuellen Musik. Es fällt schwer, nach dem Hören der beiden CDs eine Meinung dazu zu Papier zu bringen. Staunen und Sprachlosigkeit sind angezeigt nach so viel Poesie voller Bilder und wechselnder Emotionen zunächst bei den zwölf Studiotiteln. Es ist das Hohe Lied der Improvisation, ebenso frei wie an bestimmte Melodien gebunden, voller unsterblich scheinender Schönheit.
Auf der zweiten CD, live aufgenommen im New Yorker Jazzclub Jazz Standard, schlagen die bewegenden Emotionen noch höher. Vor allem Fernández, der lyrische Katalane, ist Meister in den elementaren Ausbrüchen, die gleichsam wieder zurückhaltend und minimalistisch daherkommen. Auch wenn der Meister des Bassspiels in der Welt der improvisierten Musik - Barry Guy - begleitet, hat dies eine ganz seltene persönliche Qualität. Und Ramón López zeigt, dass im Schlagzeug mehr steckt als eine reine Rhythmusmaschine. Bewegende Schönheit, das beschert das Aurora Trio dem Hörer bei diesem Ausflug in eine andere Welt, in ein anderes Leben."
(Hans-Jürgen von Osterhausen)


2006, AURORA Maya RecordingsMCD0601
2010, MORNING GLORY Maya RecordingsMCD1001
2013, A MOMENT'S LIBERTY Maya RecordingsMCD1302