Friday, July 06, 2007

Monné-Solsona Quartet - 30/06/2007@Jamboree, Barcelona

Vincens Solsonna - g
Joan Monné - p
Giula Valle - b
Ramon A. Rey - d

A strange happened when we returned to the Jamboree for the Monné-Solsona Quartet's second set: they played the exact same set-list again. It's not as if the house had been turned out: the guy at the door stamped our hands as we stepped out for air specifically so that we could get back inside without paying. So I have no idea what they were thinking. That said, I have equally little idea why guitarists play like Vincens Solsona did, either: that slightly echoey, unrelentingly bright, treble-only tone is one I have little affection for, especially when coupled with lots of fast lines relatively bereft of rhythm and Pat Metheny-lite ballads. Thankfully, the rest of the quartet was more interesting.

When the guitar laid out, the trio gained in impact and rhythmic cohesion. Joan Monné's playing wasn't terribly interesting harmonically or melodically, but it was lively and intricate. Ramon A. Rey had an interesting style that distributed busy polyrhythms all over the kit. Giula Valle was the real musician of the bunch, though, leaving in some rough edges and really interacting with her bandmates and trying to push them. Her composition, "Love Song," was the most interestingly-constructed original of the repertoire, as its ostinato-fuelled, almost Reid Anderson-style rock song intensity suggested a rather... vigorous personality. How out-of-step she was with the leader was highlighted whenever Solsona attempted to accompany one of her too-rare solos: he was painfully ill-at-ease and square.

Valle's contribution aside, there was a worrying schism between cute head arrangements and the blowing sections that reduced them to mere window-dressing. Still, a nice hall of mirrors effect was achieved on a mash-up of "Evidence" and "All The Things You Are." The first time around, before learning of what, exactly, was going on, I wondered why they were playing "All The Things You Are" with "Evidence"'s staccato phrasing. The second time, I understood that it was "Evidence," but with the chord changes to "All The Things You Are" underneath. It was a little disorienting, but that aside, is there a deeper musical reason to bring these two together?

It looks like I missed David Valdez's visit to Jamboree by a few days, with Libert Fortuny putting on a wild show.