Joaquín Chacón

San

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Coming from the same school of guitarists as John Scofield, Joaquín Chacón is a deft composer and arranger as well as a monster guitarist who has taken the jazz tradition and moved it forward in his native Catalonia. His arrangements cover the bases -- from solo and trio to sextet -- and the result is always the same: a swing-fest that relies heavily on modern tonalities, ethereal chord leads, and an ostinato sense that never plays itself into the ground. The most notable cut here, "Politikos," with a gorgeous bass clarinet solo by Uffe Markussen and an open-chord lead by Chacón, offers a different picture of the guitarist as leader. There is a democracy inherent in these compositions that belies the six-string as an automatic leading instrument. Chacón is also a very atmospheric player; he doesn't rely heavily on arpeggios in his leads -- check the solo on "Segundo Plano" -- so much as the right combination of those and chord voicings to open up his compositions harmonically to the other players in an ensemble. This is a solid effort with original tunes, a smoking band, and a variety of settings to satisfy almost all jazz guitar fans.

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