Curiosity (2019)

Torres

Xavi Torres

DSD 512 Exclusive

Curiosity
It is the essence of being human, the engine that fuels science as well as art. It implies the acceptance of ignorance, the urge to explore, learn and discover. The antidote to arrogance, the sign of open, respectful, humble minds and free, vibrant spirits. Curiosity is insubordination, especially in today’s world where rejection is often the primary reaction to the unknown, risking becoming conformist, fearful and apathetic. Let’s be curious.

 

Xavi Torres says "Creating this solo piano record has been a challenge demanding great determination. Thanks to all the friends with whom I share experiences and music, in Amsterdam, Barcelona and in the rest of the world. You make me feel so lucky.

Special Thanks to Just Listen Records for believing in this project. And to Jared Sacks, for his mastery in the recording process."

 

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Xavi Torres

Tarragona (Tarragona) – June 20th, 1991. 

Pianist Xavi Torres is one of the most outstanding musicians coming of the Spanish and European scene. He is currently living in Amsterdam, where he already had the opportunity to play and collaborate with great musicians such as Dick Oatts, Terell Stafford, Nir Felder (recording for the dutch public TV), Ben van Gelder, Reinier Baas, Tineke Postma, Raynald Colom, Horacio Fumero or Jasper Blom.

He began playing the piano thanks to his older sister, and soon found a tool to express himself honestly, plus a refuge from the outside world. After some years, and yet the classical training, the attraction for jazz and improvised music brought him to study a jazz piano bachelor in ESMUC, Barcelona, where he achieved honors studying with teachers such as Lluís Vidal, Albert Bover and Joan Díaz. Once in Amsterdam, he finished the Jazz Master and Classical Bachelor at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, one of the best of the world, with David Kuyken and Harmen Fraanje, among others.

He leads his own group, the Xavi Torres Trio, which won the most prestigious dutch contest, the “Dutch Jazz Competition 2016”, where the jury said: "They had a lyrical, technical and rhythmic superiority, with a huge potential, energy and Interplay. Harmonically sounds very interesting, with lots of fun moments. An exciting and surprising musical history. "

The band was also awarded as “Best jazz group of 2015” by the Catalan Jazz Association.
On march 2015 he won, also with Xavi Torres Trio, the contest “Keep An Eye International Jazz Award”, where on 2014 he already won the best soloist prize.

He has recorded more than 20 CDs with different bands, including Lluc Casares RED, Vuma Ian Levin, BVR Flamenco Big Band, Verd i Blau, as well as a CD of classical music as co winner of the first competition of young pianists of Tarragona (2008). His first album as a leader is “Skyline”, with his trio, and thanks to Seed Music Records and the producer Joan Díaz, which has had a great reception among the critics and audience in Spain, Holland and other European countries. On march 2014 the trio got a commission from the Festival de Dixieland de Tarragona to do a concert with two of the most important Spanish saxophonists, Perico Sambeat y Llibert Fortuny.

He has performed as a soloist at the big hall of “Auditori de Barcelona” with the ESMuC orchestra, with Lluís Vidal as a conductor. He also has played as a soloist with the Cobla Sant Jordi. He has received many artistic scholarships, such as the Stichting Jazz Talent 2015, the Jacques Vonk Fonds, Anna Riera, or a scholarship from the Catalan government.

Over these years, he has performed in 3 different continents, in countries such as EEUU, South Africa, Spain, Holland, Germany, Italy, Morocco or Andorra, and in festivals such as the North Sea Jazz Fest, Gracthen Festival, Grahamstown Jazz Festival, Bimhuis, Amsterdam JazzFest, Siena Jazz Festival, Orbit, Jamboree, Bogui Madrid, Bilbaina, Jazz in Mallorca.

He has recieved lessons or masterclasses from Fred Hersch, Ambrose Akinmusire, Mark Turner, Miguel Zenon, Avishai Cohen i Maria Schneider, and has worked as a substitute teacher at the Conservatorium van Amsterdam, as a subtitut accompanist at the ESMuC, and has been a teacher at the Grahamstown Jazz week 2015.

photo: from artist's website

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Curiosity (2019)

Torres

Xavi Torres

    NRC

Xavi Torres He is 28 but already recorded a solo album. To combat the tension that this created, jazz pianist Xavi Torres consulted a tennis professional. At the 12 Points Festival, a four-day European showcase festival in the Bimhuis in Amsterdam, he is presenting his first solo album, Curiosity. A series of arpeggios ensemble in a compelling, sometimes somewhat baroque argument between jazz and classical. He brings particularly finger-fast and eagerly many melodic variations. And he seeks tension in the depth but also gives the nine compositions and four improvisations a certain clarity: "Call it the Spanish sun," he says. Ideas for solo recordings flashed through his mind for years. Only after his participation in the prestigious Thelonious Monk Competition last year - Torres made it to the semi-finals in Washington - did he schedule recordings. "That competition was difficult and very intense. Jazz at a high level. Then I had the feeling that I could handle everything. " He worked at Curiosity for six months. But how he came across himself. "This album was a big mental battle," he says. "The instrument has all the greatness in it. But did I have enough to say? A month before the recordings I felt downright panic and I was hardly accountable. The rehearsal became almost meditative. I was completely taken back to myself." The album was recorded in one day in a concert hall in Hilversum. A wing surrounded by microphones. "I never try to play what is expected, I play and compose what feels fair to me. I love intellectual music, not too naive, but it must also have something spicy and playful. I like the balance between deeply powerful with a complex rhythm and genuine cheerfulness.” His solo performance goes back to Torres' youth. In the birthplace of Tarragona, near Barcelona, He was a young piano talent who started to play the piano of his sister out of a sense of duty for his parents. Through the record box of his parents, the blues of BB King and various Latin music, he became interested in jazz. "Pianists like Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, and Keith Jarrett. The cheerfulness and depth in the play of a predecessor like Bud Powell really appealed to me.” Torres actually knows no better than that he played alone. "At most on the accompaniment of a computer bass or drums. At the age of fifteen, a village further, in Reus, was held a monthly jam session. There I could play jazz standards with others. My parents found a private jazz teacher in Barcelona. I only regularly played with bands during my music studies at the Catalonia College of Music in Barcelona. ” His "wish for change" brought him to Amsterdam after his studies. The Catalan pianist studied both jazz and classical piano at the conservatory. In passing, he won many prizes for young jazz talent. Torres won the Keep an Eye on Jazz Award (2015) and the Dutch Jazz Competition (2016) with his trio. In 2017, he was able to tour with his band as a Young VIP, the initiative for jazz talent from the Association of Jazz and Improvisation Music Venues (VIP). The piano on its Amsterdam top floor comes from the collection of the musical instrument fund NMF. He is fanatic, he already sits behind the piano before breakfast. "I use the keys to clear my head." Moreover, he laughs, "I don't like breakfast very much." He has now been living in the Netherlands for six years. "I have found so much here for my music." Although he now travels a lot for his concerts; solo, with a trio or as a sideman in other bands. Through shows in Spain, he sees his parents again almost monthly. "The balance is very pleasant now."

Amanda Kuyper[read full review]

    Trouw

The cover shows pianist Xavi Torres with at least as many fingers as a grand piano has keys. His style is therefore aptly typified. Torres makes full use of his instrument, loves lush nut clusters and wide echoing sounds. On "Curiosity", his first solo album, his music often tends to be more classical than jazz. And no matter how impressive, a personal voice and vision are not yet emerging. Yet there are but in a different way. Back to the cover. That immense number of fingers is not only meant to emphasize his virtuosity. Each finger symbolizes a possibility. A key that the pianist can play or pass and choose another. Torres writes that curiosity is the antidote to arrogance. That is exactly what he expresses in his music. It is not based on a technical display of power. Torres' great ability is at most a tool that helps him explore the piano. And then sometimes his curiosity jumps over to the listener who intensively hears the music with the maker's ears.

Mischa Andriessen[read full review]

Curiosity (2019)

Torres

Xavi Torres

Amplifiers: Van Medevoort, Holland
Cables: Van den Hul
Digital Converters: Horus, Merging Technologies
Label Manager: Sjoerd Vriesema
Mastering Engineer: Tom Caulfield
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer 4006, Schoeps, AKG
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis Custom Analog Mixing Board
Producer: Jared Sacks, Jonas Sacks
Recording Location: MCO, Hilversum, The Netherlands on June 23, 2019
Recording Software: Pyramix, Merging Technologies
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD 256
Speakers: Grimm Audio LS1
Special Thanks: Floor van der Holst, Ted Brady, Brian Moura, Bill Dodd

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JL017: Curiosity
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Tracks.
1.
Resistance
Torres
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2.
Ignorances Discovery
Torres
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3.
Space 1
Torres
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4.
The Lion
Torres
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5.
Table Mountain
Torres
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6.
Space 2
Torres
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7.
On the Other Side
Torres
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8.
Calmness
Torres
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9.
Space 3
Torres
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10.
Luce Italiana
Torres
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11.
Yaroslavl
Torres
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12.
Space 4
Torres
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13.
Inner Cry
Torres
00:03:41   Select quality & channels above

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