Ramón Valle - Inner State
Ramón Valle - piano
Omar Rodriguez Calvo - double bass
Jamie Peet - drums
The Cuban pianist Ramón Valle, who lives mainly in Holland, has had a reputation as an excellent Cuban jazz pianist for more than 20 years and is considered an ambassador of a Latin jazz in Europe. Although Ramon can be heard in a variety of formations throughout his career - solo performances, various combos, big band, symphonic orchestras - playing with the trio is the main focus of his musical work. Bassist Omar Rodriguez Calvo has been with the band "forever" and may be considered an absolute favorite of Ramón Valles. The same can be said of drummer Jamie Peet, who has also been playing with the pianist for a long time.
The titles in detail.
Free At Last
Piano upbeat, restrained chords, quiet accompaniment by the band, harmonic melodic variations of the theme by the leading piano. The piano playing becomes more lively, a little freer in its improvisations. Classic piano trio jazz with a contemporary twist. The soloistic motives of the bass are given a wide space, its figures clarify what was already in the playing of the piano, the title is interpreted as a classical ballad. The musical statement increases towards the end in the direction of drama, without losing its pleasing ballad character.
Twana also wants to please as a ballad. Everything sounds round, balanced. A rather spring-like song without that slight melancholy or even dreariness that ballads often have. The trio is perfectly tuned to each other - well-tempered piano jazz with friendly support from drums and double bass, which knows how to use its soloistic freedom well.
Rhythmically advanced tracks
Little, Irreplaceable Things
That's exactly how this track sounds: agile, rhythmically driving with lots of energy. An opportunity for drummer Jamie Peet to drum his initially quite rhythmic melodies. Also the bass joins in, delivers his figures à la walking bass. As the playing time increases, the drumming changes to indulge in some intense, energetic drumming with lots of fast notes. Together, the trio celebrates a current, urban metropolis sound: gripping, restless, close to hectic and nervousness - rush hour in the car, one hand on the steering wheel, the other on the cell phone ... Ramon doesn't miss the opportunity to belt out some neat Latin riffs and salsa chords into the song, then favoring freer runs.
Here it really goes off. Bass, piano and especially the drums make legs, whipping song and listener forward. A catchy as well as refined rhythm. An intermezzo of the bass bridges in its solo the lively from the quiet part of the title, before the theme picks up speed again. Rhythmically, the piano and drums seem to play almost in unison, in any case playing hand in hand to keep the track moving fast. The bass is always at a disadvantage on tracks of this type. Although indispensable, its low tones do not reach the listener's ear equally as the fast strokes of piano and drums with their more audible high frequencies.
Mamita Yo Te Quiero
This track could almost as legitimately be characterized in the "rhythmically advanced tracks" category. Rhythmically driving with gripping energy, performed by the whole trio. But the piano playing favors countless patterns, chords and tonal variations that draw from a Latin jazz tradition. Likewise, drummer Jamie Peet transfers the rhythmically enticing charm to his drums. Everything together leads to pure Latin jazz.
Starts with the piano as the voice-leading instrument, initially flirting as a ballad, then mutating into a rhythmically accented theme. The whole thing with Latinized tongue and drum beat. Of course, Ramón also bangs wildly on his keys, in order to leave no doubt with strong chords and pianistic escapades that titles inspired by the Musica Latina always present themselves rhythmically advanced. Almost classically Ramon plays the title soloistically to the end.
Across the stylistic garden
Solo piano makes the beginning. A play between old and new piano classic with excursions into the realm of jazz. Here, in these strokes on the piano, the classical training of Ramon Valle is also perfectly recognizable. From the long solo, the trio gradually develops into a joint music-making. Drums and bass are very restrained. It remains quiet, restrained, meditative, spiritual. Now the standard can be recognized not only harmonically, but also melodically - Hallelujah!
Harmony, rhythm and playing vary between relaxed jazz ballad and Latin cancan with the elegant calm and coolness of a sensual rumba. Accordingly, the theme "belongs" both to the jazzy ballads and to the musical Latin world. Regardless of the stylistic approach, Te Extraño tends towards relaxed listening and simple enjoyment of this music.