Oasis is the result of a rich musical partnership between Spanish-American saxophonist David Valdez and Spanish guitarist Pere Soto. These two musicians began their association together in the Pacific northwest, when Pere Soto spent a few months in Portland, Oregon in 2004. They continued working together in Barcelona during the summer of 2006, where they played some of the top Jazz clubs in Spain (also adding Argentinean born drummer/percussionist Salvador Toscano to the project). Later that year Pere and Salvador flew in to Portland from Barcelona to record Oasis. Long time associate of Valdez and top Bay Area Latin-Jazz bassist Dan Robbins was brought in from the for the session. The Northwest's premier pianist Randy Porter, who tours with Charles MacPherson, was recruited for five tracks. Bay Area chromatic harmonica virtuoso Damien Mastersen contributed to two tunes, along with Origin recording artist Tim Jensen (flute, alto flute and bass clarinet). Dan Gaynor, Grammy nominated vocalist Nancy King's accompanist, played keyboards on three tracks.
Oasis is a romantic, intimate and lyrical Latin-Jazz recording.
Pere's original compositions are harmonically advanced, yet stylistically authentic. The tunes cover many different styles, including Bossa-nova, Samba, Bolero, Afro 12/8, Latin-Rock, Jazz ballads and Modern Rumba.
Oasis was produced to highest audiophile standards at one of the best-equipped studios in the Northwest. The project was recorded and mixed at Supernatural Sound on a hand built API legacy plus 48 channel console (one of only twelve in the world) using Pro Tools HD 7.1 at 96k 24-bits and mixed using the Lexicon 480 L reverb. The piano tracks were recorded on a Steinway C grand piano with four microphones. Bass tracks were also recorded using four microphones. Mastering was done at the Norwest's premier mastering facility Super Digital , using the GML 9500 Mastering EQ, Apogee A/D Converters, Focusrite and Manley Pultec Tube EQ. The mastered CD is 74 minutes long with 12 tracks.
David Valdez: alto saxophone, co-producer
Pere Soto: co-producer, guitars, composition, arranger, virtual B3 programming
Salvador Toscano: drums, percussion
(Salvador plays Sonar Drums)
Dan Robbins: electric and acoustic bass
Randy Porter: piano (tracks 1, 3, 5, 10, 11)
Dan Gaynor: keyboards (tracks 4, 6, 9)
Tim Jensen: flute, alto flute, bass clarinet (tracks 1, 9)
Damien Mastersen: chromatic harmonica (tracks 1,2)
Supernatural Sound Studio October 14-15, 2006
Heavywood Studios on Nov. 10th, 2006
Casa Valdez Studios Nov.18-19th, 2006
Flora Studio Nov.21st and 24th, 2006
Engineered and mixed by Sean Flora at Supernatural on Nov.28, 2006.
Mastered by Nick Moon at Super Digital Sound on Dec.1st, 2006.
*All compositions by Pere Soto except ‘Mr.88’ by Lee Konitz, ‘Incognito’ by Art Lillard and ‘Goodbye’ by Gordon Jenkins.
David Valdez- saxophonist
Born in San Francisco in 1967, David grew up in Santa Cruz, California. David picked up the saxophone at the age of 8 years old. He attended Berklee College of music on full scholarship, where he studied with George Garzone and saxophone guru Joseph Viola (who also taught Michael Brecker, Brandford Marsalis and Charlie Mariano). While in Boston he worked with John Medeski, the Either Orchestra, Dave Holland, Clark Terry, Dominique Eade, Mick Goodrick, Danilo Perez, Bob Moses, The Four Tops, Ken Schaphorst, Jim Black, Matt Wilson. After finishing his studies David moved back to the West Coast, where for several years he led bands in the Bay Area featuring such notable players as Larry Grenadier, Eddie Marshal, Jeff Ballard, Kenny Brooks, Kenny Wollesen, Larry Scheider, Dred Scott, Charlie Hunter, Vince Wallace, Liberty Ellman, Dmitri Metheny, Mark Levine and Scott Amendola.
Eventually heading the call of New York City, Valdez moved east in the mid-nineties. There he worked with Kurt Rosenwinkle, Dave Fuiczynski, Josh Redman, Josh Roseman, Ben Monder, Matt Otto, Art Lillard, Bob Mover, Brian Melvin, Heather Bennett, Jay Collins, Donny McCaslin, Peter Appelbaum and Ben Allison.
In 2000 David relocated to Portland, Oregon's thriving Jazz scene. Since moving to the Northwest he has worked with Nancy King, David Friesen, Alan Jones, Gary Smulyan, Rob Scheps, Glen Moore, Mel Brown, Dave Frishberg, Bert Wilson, Randy Porter and Robert Moore.
David's Casa Valdez Jazz blog is used as primary source material for Jazz improvisation courses around the country, including the University of North Carolina, North Texas State University, and the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Festival and concert appearances:
Monterey Jazz festival (7 years, CA)
North Sea Jazz festival (Holland)
Telluride Jazz festival (CO)
'86 World Expo at Tskuba (Japan)
Boston Globe Jazz festival (MA)
Tanglewood Music festival (NY)
Yamano Jazz festival (Japan)
Bradford Jazz festival (CT)
San Jose Jazz festival (CA)
Santa Fe Jazz festival (NM)
Jazz under the Stars (NM)
Be-Bop and Brew (CA)
Cathedral Park Jazz festival (3 years,OR)
Clubs performed at:
The Knitting Factory, New York
Smalls, New York
Blue Note, New York
Cleopatra’s Needle, New York
Savoy Lounge, New York
Birdland, New York
The Up and Down, San Francisco
Pearl’s, San Francisco
Kuumbwa Jazz Center, Santa Cruz
David has also performed and/or recorded with:
Slide Hampton, Pharaoh Saunders, Kitty Margolis, Rebecca Parris, Roy Hargrove, Mal Waldron, Gorge Rossi, Toshiko Akioshi/Lew Tabakin, Bill Berry, The Drifters, Eddie Henderson, Victor Mendoza, Dennis Rowland, Rick Margitza, Mundell Lowe, Joseph Viola Double Quartet, Scott Amendola, Will Bernard, Jay Lane, Paul Anka, Little Anthony, Seamus Blake, Ronnie Burrage.
"Since moving to town from New York City, David Valdez has shown himself to
be a rigorously adaptable player and a jazz gent who can make things happen. With his broad shouldered alto tone he builds his solos architecturally like very few players in town. His Latin Quartet explores some rhythmically challenging turf and may be one of the tightest new additions on our jazz bulletin board.''
Bill Smith, Willamette Week
“Alto saxophonist David "Carlos" Valdez is a full-throttle player with a rich knowledge of both bebop and latin jazz. You can hear in the warmth of his tone and the urgency of his wail, time-well spent in the jazz salt mines of NYC, the Bay Area, and beyond.”
Tim DuRoche- Strong Week
“Alto saxophonist David Valdez is one of the blazing lights of PDX's vastly underrated Latin music scene. Having worked with players both young (Danilo Perez, Kurt Rosenwinkle, Charlie Hunter, John Medeski) and older (Clark Terry, Dave Holland, Slide Hampton, Pharoah Saunders, Mal Waldron, Bob Moses), he's equally at home in bop, blues, and utter free blowing and muscles subtly into tunes with a Sonny Criss energy.˜
Tim DuRoche- Oregonian
PERE SOTO- guitarist/composer
Born in Badalona (Catalonia, Spain) the 20 of November, 1958.
Self-taught musician. He has demonstrated a tremendous interest in all musical genres, starting in the world of Rock and Blues and moving to Jazz. He has excelled in several groups and as a solo artist, and he has made several recordings and performed in concerts and festivals in the United States, Mexico and Europe.
He is featured in the recent book 'Uncommon Sound', the definitive book about the left-handed guitarists that changed music, along with such artists as Albert King, Jimi Hendrix, and Paul McCartney.
as a Guitarist:
Since 1984 he has led the Catalan International gypsy jazz band "Django's
The band has been release 4 Cds: Nuages 2001, Prisoners of Love 2002, El
caliqueño del Califa 2004 and Blue Drag 2004. His song Menor-k blues from
Prisoners of Love appears on the last compilation Cd from Hot Club Records,
Norway, Django Festival 3- gypsy Swing today 2004 with big gypsy names like
Jimmy Rosenberg, Angelo Debarre, John larsen, Walter Malosetti, etc.
Django’s Castle has played at festivals and concerts around the world:
Birmigham Jazz Festival, England, Jazz Festival Terrassa, Spain, Watertown,
NY, USA, etc.
as a composer:
He has written for guitar, ensembles, string quartets, an opera, and piano.
A member of the ACC (asociation of catalan composers) since 2001.
Recent and upcoming performances:
-"String quartet nº 2", México city, 2000
-"Mas alla de la Madre superiora for guitar, harp and bandurria"
-"Lamento Molecular for Harp",
-"El bufón de Liliput for two guitars",
-"When the Ocean becomes Chromatic" for Harmonica and quartet of clarinets.
Pere has played with :
John Engels, Arjen Gorter, Han Beninck, Dave Douglas, Tom Cora, Niko
Langenhuisen, Paul Stocker, Evan Tate, Lou Donaldson, Mike Clark, Jordi
Rossi, Mario Rossy, Perico Sambeat, Sean Bergin, Ron Brendel, Jeff Ballard,
Marc Miralta, Ben Allison, Bill Gerhardt, Joe Malinga, Joe Gallivan, Tony
Moore, Roberto Lecaros, Mario Lecaros, Joan Marti, Jordi Gardeñas, Salvador
Font, Fay Victor, Carla Cook, David Xirgu, Mario Rossy, Alex Coke, Marc
Mommass, Martin Van Duijhoven, Tristan Honsingen, Clare Foster, Ray Appleton,
Alesis Cuadrado, Jasper Bloom, Clarence Becton, Joris Teepe, Jos Machtel,
Antonio Mesa, Dave Liebman, Lonnie Smith, Walter Lampe, Remy Alvarez, Aarón
Cruz, Hernan Hecht, Mike Holstein Byron Hedgepeth, Rich Harney, Chris
Maresh, Chris Searles, etc
“this Catalan group is certainly the dream team among bands in the Hot club
of France tradition”- Warwick Festival 2004...England
“Django's castle is, paradoxically, both one of the most authentic and one of the most original of the numerous Django-inspired bands, featuring the repertoire of the Hot Club of France and Pere Soto originals in the Django tradition as well as standards. Soto is steeped in Djangology, but his own compositions are anything but derivative. He virtuoso guitar playing lies at the heart of the group, and he is so immersed in the Django tradition that he even adopts the great man's fingering /two fingers short) for the classic Nuages. BIRMINGHAM POST AUTUMN 2002, England
“Pere Soto's group's distinctive brand of gypsy jazz demanded attention with
its compelling rhythms and quirkily unexpected melodies.”
BIRMINGHAM EVENING MAIL - JULY 2002, England
“Pere Soto's distinctive brand of gypsy jazz commands attention with its compelling rhythms and quirkily unexpected melodies.” THE JAZZ RAG (England)
'.. a long-awaited return appearance from Django's Castle, those magnificent crusading Reinhardt obsessives from Barcelona. Pere Soto leads his fellow guitarists in a glorious cascade of dancing notes ..' METRO LIFE, England
"...Quartet plays tightly riveted ensembles. Within this framework, both leaders play long, clean lyrically turned solos.It is replete with small virtues and sense of craftsmanship.”- David Dupont, Cadence (Jazz & Blues: creative improvised music) New York, February 1993, USA
“We're witnessing a golden age of improvisors. The number of knowledgeable, technically proficient musicians around is scary. Six appear on this CD: guitarist Soto,pianist Gerhardt,soprano saxophonist Dave Liebman,bassist Ben Allison, drummer Jeff Ballard and trumpeter Dave Douglas... Soto varies his tone quite a bit; sometimes it's concentrated and penetrating, on other occasions, he produces a broader sound sound reminiscent of John Scofield. At times, he uses distortion effectively.”- Jazziz, July’ 85 (international Jazz magazine)
“A self-taught musician, Soto das his unique originality to every kind of music he plays, whether it's the "gipsy jazz" (in the tradition od Django Reinhardt) he's most famous for, or the take-offs on Jimy Hendrix, blues, be-bop, and rock that he loves to throw in whenever he can, As a composer there's problably no one else like him.”- Marci Miller, Asheville Newspaper, Rapid River, USA
Discography as a leader:
-Pere Soto Jazz Group (DLR 713-C La Raiz prd.)
-Pere Soto Grup "Coincidencias" (1989 - LP BM-002 Berman Int.)
-Pere Soto & Bill Gerhardt Quartet "Metanoic" ( 1992 - CD 85012-2 Riff)
-Pere Soto & Bill Gerhardt Quartet "Particular Venacular" (Planet X New York)
-Django's Castle "Nuages" (2001 - Satchmo)
-Django's Castle "Prisoners of Love" (2002 - Imagen)
-Django's Castle "El caliqueño del califa" (Taller de Músics 2004)
-Django's Castle "Blue Drag" (Goofy Records 2004)
-Pere Soto & Craneo de Jade encuentro 2003 (por editar)
-Live in Diana Wortham Theater (2004)
As a sideman:
-Vania Nazaré, "Brasileira-mente" (1996 - CD 001 Sabam)
-Fay Victor, "In My Own Room" (1998 Timeless Records CD SJP446)
-Alex Coke, "Wake Up Dead Man" (2004)
-Django Festival 3, Hot Club Records 2004 (HCRCD109)
Liner notes for OASIS
Tim Price wrote the liner notes for Oasis, my new CD project with guitarist/composer Pere Soto. We're still shopping the CD to European record labels and have a few leads so far. We found a record label that really likes, but can't afford the advance we need. They are acting as our agent at the MIDEM international music industry convention. I'm just trying to be patient.
I wanted someone who really understood my playing to write the notes. Tim knew all the teachers I studied with. I also felt that he really appreciated the direction I was headed as well as the musical influences that had shaped my playing. He have been trading our music for years but have never met in person. I'm very happy with how the liner notes turned out. He really understood what we were trying to do with this CD.
"When one considers what makes a meeting of two master musicians interesting, there are several common factors that can be observed throughout the history of jazz. The interest is found in the contrast between a common vocabulary and lineage but interpreted individually which of course is one of the main facets of jazz. In other words, there is enough similarity for some semblance of a unified approach, but at the same time enough differences to attract interest. With David Valdez and Pere Soto the unity and differences are clearly demonstrated.
Stylistically, David and Pere approaches are very distinct. They both stretch the rhythm and harmony, but in completely different ways. David seems to slip and slide around within the framework of a tune in with a wide range of articulations and intervallic choices. He plays with the beat creating a kind of spiraling vortex of sounds. One of the very best modern day alto players!
Pere Soto dives straight into the center of the harmony and pulse using his incredible imagination to create a universe of its own within the structure of the tune. Speed and dexterity are fundamental to his style .Ya know, when I close my eyes and listen to him, it’s amazing.
Finally, there is the sheer joy and camaraderie the David Valdez and Pere Soto of playing and listening to each other. Classic! This disc is stellar and packed with just the kind of experience needed, which is to the advantage of the listener because it brings a relaxed informality to the recording.
Pere in his own way has extended the language on his instrument to a level prominent enough to have a major effect. It has been my feeling that with our culture's emphasis upon and rewarding of conformity rather than originality has been increasingly stifled in the past decade or so. You won't hear that stifled approach here! In his playing you hear the history of jazz!
David Valdez can do so much and has always struck me as rather distinctive on that level as well. He tends to go more directly head to head inside the music. Maybe this translates musically to more chances taken, more densely packed lines, more roughness and use of combinations in the sound.
Most of these tunes allow the artists to use their common language, as a vehicle for creativity and self-expression. It is a vital source of listening experience, I've known Valdez for years musically, and his playing is a vital asset to this music. This disc combines a kind of textural austerity with the sometimes forbiddingly jagged melodies that just make you return to it daily, the results are very attractive.
This new recording by these two modern day masters is a step in a well-needed direction. This excellent project brings together highly respected players whose paths have crossed before in various configurations over the years. As a unit, they authoritatively and creatively play the music o
n this disc with great personal integrity coupled with intensity and energy, formidable chops and intelligence that recalls the forward thinking.
Hear It! It is something very special.