Colores del Sur (Colors of the South) features Saxophonist Femke IJlstra and pianist Celia García-García. They met during a performance of Shostakovich’s Jazz Suite No. 2 in the Amsterdam Concertgebouw. Soon the ladies decided to form a duo named Duo IJlstra-Garcia and focus on repertoire and arrangements for this album. After several successful performances, the duo decided to make an album for the adventurous TRPTK label. They opted for warm-blooded repertoire with a distinctly Southern European and South American touch. (While this album is the duo’s debut on TRPTK, their earlier releases on Aliud and TRPTK are also available from NativeDSD and are linked below).
Colores del sur is an impression of the atmosphere from the south. In the sultry light of the evening sun we are somewhere in a warm country. Around us, each person experiences his own story. Dance, song and passion alternate with moments full of nostalgia and melancholy.
The album contains music from the French Tableaux de Provence (by the unknown composer Paule Maurice) and fiery Spanish Siete canciones populares (by Manuel de Falla). The French composer Darius Milhaud went further, drawing inspiration from the folk music of South America in his Brasileira. With the tantalizing Five Exotic Dances by Jean Francaix , we end up in a party with various dance numbers, from languid and sensual to cheerful and energetic. A mysterious black swan by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos, the musical painting in Maurice Ravel’s Pièce en forme de habanera, and Isaac Albéniz’s dreamy Evocación complete this picture.
IJlstra and García-García know how to give an authentic voice to this temperamental music – in which cheerfulness and melancholy go hand in hand. They play with a looseness and open-mindedness that is unprecedented.
“We want to tell a real story and play from our feelings, we want to be ourselves. We take you to the musical south where we sing, dream and dance together in the warm evening light” say Celia & Femke.
The results are worth it, with passionate performances that sometimes have an exciting frayed edge.
Femke IJlstra – Saxophonist
Celia García-García – Pianist
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:55:21
|Analog to Digital Conversion|
Hapi and Anubis, Merging Technologies with Grimm Audio CC2 Master Clock at DXD (352.8kHz)
Furutech custom microphone, loudspeaker & power, cables and interlinks, Grimm Audio TPR8 breakout cables
This album was made possible by funding from Sena and the Voordekunst crowdfunding website for music, arts and the creative sector.
Brendon Heinst & Tom Caulfield (DXD to DSD Transfers)
DPA d:dicate 4006A, Microtech Gefell M1030 & Microtech Gefell M930
KEF Blade Two & KEF LS50 Meta Loudspeakers, Hegel H30 & Hegel C55 electronics
|Original Recording Format|
Westvest Church in Schiedam, Netherlands on June 24 – 26, 2021
JCAT Optimo 3 Duo, JCAT M12 Switch Gold, JCAT NET Card XE, Computer Audio Design GC3, Furutech NCF Boosters
|Release Date||March 11, 2022|
Here is an excursion through the Spanish inflected music of southern Europe with a few side ventures to Brazil. It’s a feast for the ears and the heart, with music of Isaac Albéniz, Manuel de Falla, Paule Maurice, Jean Françaix, Heitor Villa‑Lobos, Maurice Ravel, Darius Milhaud, and Kurt Weill. All musicians influenced by the rhythms and melodies of Spain, with a touch of Brazil to keep it spicy.
On my first hearing I was not sure what to expect. And I kept listening…, and kept listening. Oh, yes, I was drawn in thoroughly. And when the album was over, I wished it would continue, so I played it again.
Celia García-García I first encountered in her charming EP for TRPTK performing on the Celeste. I’ve been watching for new releases from her ever since, and find her here on piano. She has a lovely delicate touch and phrasing, but can be a demon where the music calls for it. I like her style of playing and find her most enjoyable. She has Spanish roots and plays with an appropriate passion reflecting those roots.
Femke IJlstra I’d not heard before. The album notes describe her as “very blonde saxophonist from the phlegmatic north of the Netherlands.” Hmmm… But, as books are never read by their covers, music needs to be heard. There is some passionate music-making in her soul. She captures nuances of the music I did not expect to hear on the saxophone. Her playing is like singing through the instrument. She catches subtle shifts, pauses, leaps that bring life and energy to her interpretations.
Together, Duo IJlstra-García (as they have named their collaboration) give us a very convincing tour of exotic places and music. A bit of fire, a bit of spice, a bit of languor, a bit of raucous energy, Duo IJlstra-García are as fine a pair of tour guides as one might hope to find. And they are perfect collaborative partners. For an example, listen to their performance of Villa-Lobos’ O canto do cisne negro with IJlstra soaring, lilting saxophone supported by the rippling foundation provided by García-García—its hypnotic. And then they roar into the first of Jean Françaix’s jazzy Cinq danses exotiques. Perfectly in sync. Perfectly complementing and supporting one another. This is all very fine music-making.
There are a lot of famous tunes on this album, from the opening Tango from Albéniz’s España to de Falla’s Siete canciones to Scaramouche by Milhaud to the concluding Youkaliby by Kurt Weill. And then in between are works I’m pleased to hear for the first time by Jean Françaix and Paule Maurice. The album is nicely programmed with a touch of the old and a bit of the new. It stays throughout a fresh and interesting program.
I encourage you to take a side-trip to something a bit different in your listening, take an adventure. I think you may enjoy this album. I certainly have.
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