Catalonian pianist Elisabet Raspall and her storied quintet are finally having their new dimensions in melodic music heard on this side of the Atlantic. Triangles is a recording that challenges all formal notions of the mannerism of melodic or mainstream jazz by trotting out new notions of rhythmic interplay -- between pianist and drummer, between bassist and pianist (an electric bass no less), and between pianist and front line. Here, too, Raspall writes lush, Eastern-inflected melodies in her compositions that are rich in texture, color, and lyrical tension. Her main collaborator, trumpeter Benet Palet, relies heavily on the idiomatics of the Spanish modal scale for tracing a composition through its elemental intervals, getting it swinging and then into the solos. His own, on "Cada 2x3" and "Tongo," are matched only by the large, double-handed chord voicings Raspall insists are part of her rhythmic and melodic approach. Her harmonic sense is one that draws a straight line from melody to rhythm and finds its way into murkier terrains by impressionistic soloing and the warmth of her shimmering horn lines, written around extravagant pitches and changes. "Secret" and "Sorra I Escuma" are fine examples of this composition, and the soloing by all three front-line players is staggered to maximum chromatic effect, especially as they are deftly accented by a subtle but elegant rhythm section. This is one heck of a debut, and it should be right in line with more adventurous American mainstream tastes.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek