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Albert Marquès' amazing new live album has dynamic, nuanced sound
(Published: January 01, 2021)

We finally left this weird 2020 behind, but the ripple effect of everything that's been happening still lingers with us, and it is going to take a little more time before we can all go back to living our normal day-to-day lives in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most difficult situations for musicians has been the inability to perform live through these times, and even as a member of the audience, I miss the electricity and intimacy of live music.

Albert Marquès released a really amazing live album, aptly titled Live in Madrid. This is a recording of a show that happened in 2018, as Marquès was on tour throughout Spain. He shared the stage with Zack O'Farrill (cajón/drums) as well as double bassist Dario Guibert. The trio has a dynamic, nuanced sound, and the chemistry between these musicians is pure and undeniable. This live album features a set of seven songs.

The opener, "Sefarad," is a soothing and rhythmically enticing affair, reminiscent of tango and fusion jazz. "Conflict" is one of my personal favorites on this effort, as the sound has an incredibly warm and personal quality to it. You can especially enjoy the way the piano and drums interact so seamlessly, having a musical conversation as the bass mediates, holding things together beautifully. This is one of the best examples of how the music is so expressive and refreshingly emotional, while still displaying a high degree of technical proficiency.

"Afro Blue" is a lengthy track, clocking in at over 11 minutes. This is a very beautiful composition, which starts off with a soft, droning piano intro, only to evolve into a melody that is immediately distinctive and recognizable. The track incorporates many influences, including classic jazz and Afro-Cuban vibes, not to mention contemporary composition.

This beautiful concert is a time capsule, and a reminder of how powerful and incredible live music can be. Here's to a better 2021 with more gigs ahead.

More Information: http://albertmarques.bandcamp.com/album/live-in-madrid


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