Rodrigo Recabarren, Yago Vazquez and Pablo Menares – La Familia

Greenleaf Music – Available
Rodrigo Recabarren, Yago Vazquez and Pablo Menares – La Familia

It is certainly important to know the journey taken by these musicians, in jazz, as elsewhere, there is no coincidence, each arrives with his culture, as here: Originating from Chile (Recabarren and Menares) and Galicia, Spain (Vazquez), these young artists bring a wealth of cultural experiences to their musical dexterity. Paying homage to the music of their childhood, the trio employs a variety of folk music traditions in an album that, like many in pan-Latin jazz, hybridizes diverse cultural attributes in compositions that reflect the complexities of our modern world. Bold, comfortable with a variety of genres and musical styles, a profound confidence binds their collective musical ambitions.
Then in 2009, they headed to New York, and from club to club, their reputation was born… The architecture of their music from the first notes proves to be as delightful as it is complex, not stemming from Latin rhythms, but from their deeply intellectual and thoughtful artistic approach, both in compositions and arrangements, the rhythms exercised by the instruments are as captivating cultural particles as they are research on their identity. There is plenty to intellectually, rhythmically, and fully enjoy in receiving their diverse musical propositions, which ultimately prove to be totally fascinating. Beneath the surface of musical journeys like Familia lie the personal and cultural attributes that make pan-Latin jazz so special. Each song, rhythm, chord structure, or melody is an opportunity to explore life through the prism of the vast experiences that shape a musical personality. For Recabarren and Menares, these are all Chilean things, with their treasure trove of folk traditions like the street rhythms of “chin-chin” or the musical legacies of icons like Violeta Parra and Víctor Jara that permeated their childhood under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet. Meanwhile, Vazquez is naturally linked to the rich cultural history of Galicia. In both cases, you’ll find seasoned musicians negotiating their way through jazz on their journey toward a sincere appreciation of their cultural homelands.
Undoubtedly, amidst all this, there is, if we believe the titles, a political license, but more deeply, this album appeals to their musical as well as familial roots, hence the title of this album, an artistic culmination incorporating the harmonic nuance of “Guinga” or the musical styles of legendary composer, guitarist, and singer Carlos Althier de Souza Lemos Escobar. It also references the written work of Chilean author Jorge Teillier, whose poem of the same name speaks to the influence of the community of relationships we maintain throughout our lives.
This elegantly brings us back to the theme of family. And not just blood relatives, but chosen families; families that help shape our identities, shape our creative passions, and then see those aspirations come to fruition. “We all migrated to New York together and created a family,” recalls Recabarren, reminiscing about the years spent learning as much about themselves as mastering the mechanics of jazz. For the trio, jazz has been the vehicle of choice to engage and explore the total circumference of their musical life. “I think jazz does that to people,” believes Recabarren. “It’s a language that allows you to explore beauty, subjects in depth, and I think I realize that through this album as well.”
This is by no means an album like any other Latino album; this one is purely indispensable as it plays with the card of truth, an intellectual and artistic truth, enough to fill our ears and soul…

Thierry De Clemensat
USA correspondent – Paris-Move and ABS magazine
Editor in chief Bayou Blue Radio, Bayou Blue News

PARIS-MOVE, March 6th 2024


To buy this album

Rodrigo Recabarren’s Website