PÁJARO DE FUEGO - TRANCE; ESTEBAN SEHINKMAN TRIO. In his fourth solo album, pianist and keyboardist Esteban Sehinkman leads his formidable trio once again into a new exciting trip of highly combustible, modern and electrified grooving jazz. Pájaro de fuego is one of those albums made of several layers of sound, climaxes and moods, and which, though it may seem simple at first sight, has much more material to offer once we scratch beneath the surface.
A clear follow-up to its predecessor, El sapo argentino de boca ancha (the first album of the trio completed by Daniel “Pipi” Piazzolla on drums and Matías Mendez on electric bass), Sehinkman now takes those ideas and musical conceptions and stretches them even further, achieving a new sound in which the principles of jazz (where Sehinkman comes from as a musician, as his first two albums amply prove) are just reduced exactly to that, namely, guiding principles through which the music flows, a receptive mold into which other influences are poured to be processed, refurnished and fueled by a high-spirited trio that keeps nothing for themselves. If anything, this albums stands apart because, from the very first note, the listener is made aware that the energy of these musicians won’t pass unnoticed, that a musical but also physical experience is about to take place.
With seven original pieces and a fragment of a composition by Camille Saint-Säens (the closing track, a truly beautiful and calm epilogue which nevertheless leaves the album slightly open), the music gradually develops as a hypnotic, feverish electronic trance (Sehinkman only plays Rhodes piano and other synthesizers, but no acoustic piano), every piece subtly connected with the following, forming, in the end, a coherent whole. Thus, different emotions arise, from euphoric dance grooves to more introspective melodies, and the trio (and its guests: Lulo Isod on percussion, Mariana Bianchini on vocals, Sergio Alvarez on guitar and Nicolás Sorín on voice and electronic interventions) always builds a curve ball into its arsenal to keep things interesting. It’s not only that they play fast and groovy: above all, they play with ideas, and with the will to go beyond the most obvious choices.
Working as a power jazz trio, Sehinkman, Piazzolla and Mendez bring together the improvisational character of jazz, along with 1970s jazz-rock, ambiance music, electronic atmospheres, danceable grooves and other, more subtle influences. In doing so, in dealing with complicated rhythms and textures, but never giving up on the idea of a deep musical search, they create an absorbing sound, which gently mixes intense and visceral playing with intelligent and daring musical ideas. Highly recommended.