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Juan Galiardo Trio - Juan Galiardo Trio, Brecon Jazz Club, The Muse Arts Centre, Brecon, 12/06/2018. Rating: 3-5 out of 5 Galiardo led the group well, shaping the direction of the music with quiet authority, interacting easily with his band mates and delivering a series of highly inventive and engaging solos.

Juan Galiardo Trio, Brecon Jazz Club, The Muse Arts Centre, Brecon, 12/06/2018.

The Spanish pianist and composer Juan Galiardo has become a great friend and favourite of Brecon Jazz Club following several visits to Wales in recent years.

The Andalucian born pianist is currently based in Cadiz but spent time in the US studying at the famous Berklee College of Music. It was there that he met his wife, the Japanese pianist and composer Atsuko Shimada, who has also visited and played at Brecon, including the 2017 Brecon Jazz Festival.

Galiardo first toured in Wales in 2014, co-leading a quartet with his compatriot Arturo Serra (vibes).  Billed as “Espana Cyrmu” the two Spaniards were joined by local Welsh rhythm sections, the musicians including bassists Ashley John Long and Aidan Thorne and drummers Phil Redfox O’Sullivan and Mark O’Connor. Their performances in Abergavenny and Brecon are reviewed elsewhere on this site, the latter a double bill with the Cardiff University Big Band. Galiardo has also performed at Brecon Jazz Festival alongside Spanish vocalist Celia Mur and a band featuring several leading Welsh musicians.

On record Galiardo made his début as a leader in 2012 with his eponymous release on the New Steps record label. The pianist leads a quintet featuring the great Jerry Bergonzi on tenor saxophone and the programme includes five Galiardo originals plus four arrangements of well known jazz standards. There’s nothing radical about the album but it’s a classy set of mainstream jazz, immaculately recorded and flawlessly played. My full review of the album can be read here;
http://www.thejazzmann.com/reviews/review/juan-galiardo/

As a sideman Galiardo has recorded two albums with his old friend Arturo Serra, 2010’s “Gershwin Songs” featuring vocalist Celia Mur plus the American rhythm section of bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson and 2016’s all instrumental “Happy Times” featuring alto saxophonist Antonio Gonzalez. Galiardo also plays keyboards on 2017’s “Vision Tales”, a quintet set co-led by Serra and bassist Javier Delgado. These are only the albums that I’m familiar with, Galiardo’s website lists his full discography, including several more recordings made with Serra. Please visit http://www.juangaliardomusic.com

Tonight’s performance featured the kind of ‘one off’ trio that Brecon Jazz Club co-ordinators Lynne Gornall and Roger Cannon enjoy putting together, always with the uncanny knack of finding musicians who will ‘hit it off’.

Galiardo had flown in early from Spain to team up with two locally based musicians, Phil Redfox O’Sullivan and bassist Ruth Bowen. The pianist had worked with O’Sullivan before back in 2014 but had never previously met Bowen. Somewhat surprisingly, given their local connections, O’Sullivan and Bowen had never actually worked together before so this truly was a unique, one off collaboration.

On a warm summer’s evening a large audience crowded into a very hot Muse with Galiardo stating that it was warmer in Wales than in Cadiz! With this being a brand new trio the focus was inevitably on standards, although Galiardo did manage to include three of his own tunes in a long and absorbing first set.

However the trio started out in familiar territory with their version of the Gershwin tune “Embraceable You”. Playing an electric keyboard on an acoustic piano setting Galiardo immediately impressed with an expansive solo that combined sophisticated left hand chording with mercurial right hand runs. Bowen added a brief cameo on double bass and O’Sullivan provided colour and propulsion via a combination of sticks and brushes.

The Galiardo original “Brecon Beacons” was written following a previous Welsh visit and with a title like that was bound to go down well with the crowd. An atmospheric introduction featured Galiardo’s piano in conjunction with O’Sullivan’s cymbal shimmers and mallet rumbles before an attractive, folk flavoured melody emerged which provided the platform for melodic solos from the composer on piano and Bowen on double bass. On a balmy summer’s night the piece represented an apt choice, the Beacons had looked strikingly beautiful in the evening sunshine as we drove down to Brecon for tonight’s gig.

Galiardo followed this with another original, “Uncle Joe”, a dedication to his uncle Jose, the man who introduced the young Galiardo to jazz through his large collection of jazz recordings. Galiardo’s tune had a strong blues and gospel flavour and sounded like an Iberian cousin to Cannonball Adderley’s “Work Song”. The composer introduced the tune unaccompanied and later delivered an exuberant, quote filled solo, supported by the vibrant rhythms generated by Bowen and O’Sullivan with the two Welsh musicians also being given the opportunity to enjoy their own features during the latter stages of the tune.

It was back to the standards repertoire as the trio slowed things down with their version of the classic “Blue In Green”, composed by either Bill Evans or Miles Davis – take your pick. Galiardo’s arrangement imparted the tune with a 6/8 feel, inspired in part by the flamenco rhythms of his native Seville.  O’Sullivan played brushes as Galiardo stretched out on piano, followed by Bowen at the bass.

A second unaccompanied piano introduction ushered in a lively arrangement of the standard “If I Should Lose You” with Galiardo’s keys subsequently dancing above the crisp, driving grooves generated by Bowen and O’Sullivan, the drummer also relishing the chance to trade fours with the pianist in a series of vivacious, stimulating exchanges.

A lengthy and enjoyable first half concluded with a third Galiardo original, the title translating as “Spring” in Italian. This had an appropriately warm, Mediterranean feel about it with its lilting melodies and Latin inflected rhythms acting as the springboard for solos from Galiardo and Bowen.

Set two put the focus exclusively on standards but the playing was, if anything, even better and the sound clearer. Bowen’s bass, in particular was more distinct in the second half after sounding a little muddy in the first set. However it was O’Sullivan who kicked things off with a neatly constructed solo drum feature that formed the introduction to a lively interpretation of the standard “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was”. His dynamic drumming allied to Bowen’s rapid bass walk helped to fuel a dazzling piano solo from Galiardo who once again stretched out to good effect. The pianist was followed by Bowen at the bass but this piece was very much O’Sullivan’s as the drummer again entered into a series of lively exchanges with his leader.

Things cooled down a little with the trio’s interpretation of “I Fall In Love Too Easily”, a song indelibly associated with Chet Baker’s vocal version. Introduced by himself on unaccompanied piano Galiardo’s waltz time arrangement initially gave the tune something of a Bill Evans feel before he stretched out more forcefully on a quote infused solo that was followed by Bowen at the bass, the latter taking advantage of the improved sound quality in the second set.

A swinging, more orthodox jazz feel informed “I’ve Never Been In Love Before”, again introduced by a passage of unaccompanied piano followed by more conventional jazz solos from both Galiardo and Bowen.

To close we heard a strikingly original segue of two of the most famous jazz standards of them all. First “Cherokee” was played as an achingly lovely ballad with Galiardo’s piano leading the way shadowed by Bowen’s bass and the gentle rustle of O’Sullivan’s brushes. It was an inventive, almost subversive, arrangement that brought out the innate beauty of Ray Noble’s melody.
A final passage of solo piano acted as the bridge into a swinging, up-tempo arrangement of “Autumn Leaves” featuring a sparkling solo from Galiardo, one laced with an element of musical humour. O’Sullivan contributed another swinging and dynamic drumming display and was later to describe the experience of playing with Galiardo as “a learning experience”.

Galiardo had proved to be as popular as ever with the Brecon jazz audience and he and the trio were given a great reception by a warmly supportive crowd. The choice of encore was suggested by Bowen, a version of “Have You Met Miss Jones?”, which the trio executed at a fast clip with solos from Galiardo and Bowen and a final set of exchanges between Galiardo and O’Sullivan.

All in all this was an excellent set from a scratch trio in which each musician performed well in very hot and challenging conditions. Galiardo led the group well, shaping the direction of the music with quiet authority, interacting easily with his band mates and delivering a series of highly inventive and engaging solos. His original compositions were accessible and convincing and his arrangements of more familiar standards material imaginative, original and inventive. Galiardo’s time in Boston led to him developing both his musical and linguistic skills and he communicated well with the English speaking audience. There will always be a welcome for him in the hillsides of Brecon.

If you missed tonight’s performance Galiardo will also lead a trio at Café Jazz in Cardiff on the evening of 14th June 2018. See http://www.cafejazzcardiff.com

He will also play at Swansea International Jazz Festival on 15th June 2018.

My thanks to Juan Galiardo for speaking with me during the interval and afterwards and for providing me with copies of the three albums featuring himself and Arturo Serra featured above. I hope to take a look at these in due course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Juan Galiardo Trio, Brecon Jazz Club, The Muse Arts Centre, Brecon, 12/06/2018.

Juan Galiardo Trio

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Reviewed by: Ian Mann

Live Review

3-5 out of 5

Juan Galiardo Trio, Brecon Jazz Club, The Muse Arts Centre, Brecon, 12/06/2018.
Photography: Photograph by Pam Mann

Galiardo led the group well, shaping the direction of the music with quiet authority, interacting easily with his band mates and delivering a series of highly inventive and engaging solos.

Juan Galiardo Trio, Brecon Jazz Club, The Muse Arts Centre, Brecon, 12/06/2018.

The Spanish pianist and composer Juan Galiardo has become a great friend and favourite of Brecon Jazz Club following several visits to Wales in recent years.

The Andalucian born pianist is currently based in Cadiz but spent time in the US studying at the famous Berklee College of Music. It was there that he met his wife, the Japanese pianist and composer Atsuko Shimada, who has also visited and played at Brecon, including the 2017 Brecon Jazz Festival.

Galiardo first toured in Wales in 2014, co-leading a quartet with his compatriot Arturo Serra (vibes).  Billed as “Espana Cyrmu” the two Spaniards were joined by local Welsh rhythm sections, the musicians including bassists Ashley John Long and Aidan Thorne and drummers Phil Redfox O’Sullivan and Mark O’Connor. Their performances in Abergavenny and Brecon are reviewed elsewhere on this site, the latter a double bill with the Cardiff University Big Band. Galiardo has also performed at Brecon Jazz Festival alongside Spanish vocalist Celia Mur and a band featuring several leading Welsh musicians.

On record Galiardo made his début as a leader in 2012 with his eponymous release on the New Steps record label. The pianist leads a quintet featuring the great Jerry Bergonzi on tenor saxophone and the programme includes five Galiardo originals plus four arrangements of well known jazz standards. There’s nothing radical about the album but it’s a classy set of mainstream jazz, immaculately recorded and flawlessly played. My full review of the album can be read here;
http://www.thejazzmann.com/reviews/review/juan-galiardo/

As a sideman Galiardo has recorded two albums with his old friend Arturo Serra, 2010’s “Gershwin Songs” featuring vocalist Celia Mur plus the American rhythm section of bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson and 2016’s all instrumental “Happy Times” featuring alto saxophonist Antonio Gonzalez. Galiardo also plays keyboards on 2017’s “Vision Tales”, a quintet set co-led by Serra and bassist Javier Delgado. These are only the albums that I’m familiar with, Galiardo’s website lists his full discography, including several more recordings made with Serra. Please visit http://www.juangaliardomusic.com

Tonight’s performance featured the kind of ‘one off’ trio that Brecon Jazz Club co-ordinators Lynne Gornall and Roger Cannon enjoy putting together, always with the uncanny knack of finding musicians who will ‘hit it off’.

Galiardo had flown in early from Spain to team up with two locally based musicians, Phil Redfox O’Sullivan and bassist Ruth Bowen. The pianist had worked with O’Sullivan before back in 2014 but had never previously met Bowen. Somewhat surprisingly, given their local connections, O’Sullivan and Bowen had never actually worked together before so this truly was a unique, one off collaboration.

On a warm summer’s evening a large audience crowded into a very hot Muse with Galiardo stating that it was warmer in Wales than in Cadiz! With this being a brand new trio the focus was inevitably on standards, although Galiardo did manage to include three of his own tunes in a long and absorbing first set.

However the trio started out in familiar territory with their version of the Gershwin tune “Embraceable You”. Playing an electric keyboard on an acoustic piano setting Galiardo immediately impressed with an expansive solo that combined sophisticated left hand chording with mercurial right hand runs. Bowen added a brief cameo on double bass and O’Sullivan provided colour and propulsion via a combination of sticks and brushes.

The Galiardo original “Brecon Beacons” was written following a previous Welsh visit and with a title like that was bound to go down well with the crowd. An atmospheric introduction featured Galiardo’s piano in conjunction with O’Sullivan’s cymbal shimmers and mallet rumbles before an attractive, folk flavoured melody emerged which provided the platform for melodic solos from the composer on piano and Bowen on double bass. On a balmy summer’s night the piece represented an apt choice, the Beacons had looked strikingly beautiful in the evening sunshine as we drove down to Brecon for tonight’s gig.

Galiardo followed this with another original, “Uncle Joe”, a dedication to his uncle Jose, the man who introduced the young Galiardo to jazz through his large collection of jazz recordings. Galiardo’s tune had a strong blues and gospel flavour and sounded like an Iberian cousin to Cannonball Adderley’s “Work Song”. The composer introduced the tune unaccompanied and later delivered an exuberant, quote filled solo, supported by the vibrant rhythms generated by Bowen and O’Sullivan with the two Welsh musicians also being given the opportunity to enjoy their own features during the latter stages of the tune.

It was back to the standards repertoire as the trio slowed things down with their version of the classic “Blue In Green”, composed by either Bill Evans or Miles Davis – take your pick. Galiardo’s arrangement imparted the tune with a 6/8 feel, inspired in part by the flamenco rhythms of his native Seville.  O’Sullivan played brushes as Galiardo stretched out on piano, followed by Bowen at the bass.

A second unaccompanied piano introduction ushered in a lively arrangement of the standard “If I Should Lose You” with Galiardo’s keys subsequently dancing above the crisp, driving grooves generated by Bowen and O’Sullivan, the drummer also relishing the chance to trade fours with the pianist in a series of vivacious, stimulating exchanges.

A lengthy and enjoyable first half concluded with a third Galiardo original, the title translating as “Spring” in Italian. This had an appropriately warm, Mediterranean feel about it with its lilting melodies and Latin inflected rhythms acting as the springboard for solos from Galiardo and Bowen.

Set two put the focus exclusively on standards but the playing was, if anything, even better and the sound clearer. Bowen’s bass, in particular was more distinct in the second half after sounding a little muddy in the first set. However it was O’Sullivan who kicked things off with a neatly constructed solo drum feature that formed the introduction to a lively interpretation of the standard “I Didn’t Know What Time It Was”. His dynamic drumming allied to Bowen’s rapid bass walk helped to fuel a dazzling piano solo from Galiardo who once again stretched out to good effect. The pianist was followed by Bowen at the bass but this piece was very much O’Sullivan’s as the drummer again entered into a series of lively exchanges with his leader.

Things cooled down a little with the trio’s interpretation of “I Fall In Love Too Easily”, a song indelibly associated with Chet Baker’s vocal version. Introduced by himself on unaccompanied piano Galiardo’s waltz time arrangement initially gave the tune something of a Bill Evans feel before he stretched out more forcefully on a quote infused solo that was followed by Bowen at the bass, the latter taking advantage of the improved sound quality in the second set.

A swinging, more orthodox jazz feel informed “I’ve Never Been In Love Before”, again introduced by a passage of unaccompanied piano followed by more conventional jazz solos from both Galiardo and Bowen.

To close we heard a strikingly original segue of two of the most famous jazz standards of them all. First “Cherokee” was played as an achingly lovely ballad with Galiardo’s piano leading the way shadowed by Bowen’s bass and the gentle rustle of O’Sullivan’s brushes. It was an inventive, almost subversive, arrangement that brought out the innate beauty of Ray Noble’s melody.
A final passage of solo piano acted as the bridge into a swinging, up-tempo arrangement of “Autumn Leaves” featuring a sparkling solo from Galiardo, one laced with an element of musical humour. O’Sullivan contributed another swinging and dynamic drumming display and was later to describe the experience of playing with Galiardo as “a learning experience”.

Galiardo had proved to be as popular as ever with the Brecon jazz audience and he and the trio were given a great reception by a warmly supportive crowd. The choice of encore was suggested by Bowen, a version of “Have You Met Miss Jones?”, which the trio executed at a fast clip with solos from Galiardo and Bowen and a final set of exchanges between Galiardo and O’Sullivan.

All in all this was an excellent set from a scratch trio in which each musician performed well in very hot and challenging conditions. Galiardo led the group well, shaping the direction of the music with quiet authority, interacting easily with his band mates and delivering a series of highly inventive and engaging solos. His original compositions were accessible and convincing and his arrangements of more familiar standards material imaginative, original and inventive. Galiardo’s time in Boston led to him developing both his musical and linguistic skills and he communicated well with the English speaking audience. There will always be a welcome for him in the hillsides of Brecon.

If you missed tonight’s performance Galiardo will also lead a trio at Café Jazz in Cardiff on the evening of 14th June 2018. See http://www.cafejazzcardiff.com

He will also play at Swansea International Jazz Festival on 15th June 2018.

My thanks to Juan Galiardo for speaking with me during the interval and afterwards and for providing me with copies of the three albums featuring himself and Arturo Serra featured above. I hope to take a look at these in due course.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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