Sometimes music can be born from a simple walk around the block of a neighborhood in Madrid. Some others music develops because of the influence of other arts. Musae has both. It shows an inspirational journey where the music has been thought from many different perspectives. The Cuban saxophonist Roman Filiu releases this time his second album that owns the best qualities of the contemporary jazz. Risk, sensibility and some mystery (that you can also tell on some of the song’s names “Dark Room”, “Eyes”) results in an original work full of surprise. The sound of an acoustic guitar (Adam Rogers) that emerges in “Ojos” (“Eyes”) is an example of Musae’s colors and intentions.
Words and paintings enriched Filiu’s work. The Milan Kundera’s book, Testaments Betrayed was another critical element that helped him understanding and clarifying many of his own ideas by immersing him into reflections of arts and creation. The influence of painting allows Musae to sound theatrically and also cinematographic sometimes revealing a strong visual way to tell music. The creative process took place in Madrid where the saxophonist lived for some years before moving to New York.
Filiu talks about the necessity of a voice and explains that there is no voice until the musician creates his own music. He is totally entitled to say that since he has now a large experience as a sideman. He played with the well-known Cuban Orchestra Irakere for 8 years, next to Chucho Valdés, the founder of the group; four years with Issac Delgado, lead vocalist of NG La Banda. He played and recorded with saxophonist David Murray. Murray’s album playing Nat King Cole songs in Spanish was a proper scenario for critics to focus on Filiu, who was praised for his soloing. It was time though for him to express and compose.
His voice can be described as strong and direct. His music speaks hundreds of languages and –probably the most fundamental thing for Filiu— it owns freedom. Even though this music can’t be really classified with any other label but jazz it has roots and also makes part of a generation that prioritizes melody and rhythm at the same time they show an impressive ability for improvisation. It is important then to mention the participation of drummer Dafnis Prieto, who using his own voice also shares his influences and concepts of music through his compositions. Musae’s fortune remains on its musicians, who conform a remarkable ensemble. Adam Rogers on acoustic and electric guitar; David Virelles on piano; Reinier Elizarde on Contra-Bass; Dafnis Prieto and Marcus Gilmore on drums. Each of them knows exactly how to use the nuances of music, which is a gift for the listener.