Label/Year: Self-produced, 2017
Lineup – Manny Echazabal: saxophone; Tal Cohen: piano; Dion Kerr: bass; David Chiverton: drums.
Short Notice, the auspicious debut CD by Miami-born saxophonist Manny Echazabal, is a fun post-bop ride that reveals compositional ingeniousness and an adventurous side that draws from Wayne Shorter and Michael Brecker, but still brandishing a valid signature of its own.
Echazabal doesn’t refrain from exteriorizing emotions throughout the nine original tracks that compose this album, recorded in the good company of pianist Tal Cohen, bassist Dion Kerr, and drummer David Chiverton.
“Time Out” sets the tone, starting in an invigorating post-bop fashion and emanating elegant remarks, whether from the bandleader or the pianist, on top of warm harmonic movements.
The title track, a straight-ahead, hard-swinging modal piece, is as much responsive as it is playful, becoming immediately a highlight on the album due to its outgoing nature and mighty charisma. By blowing the saxophone with muscular authority, the saxophonist stimulates his peers, who respond with regard and excitement.
When it comes to finding space to breathe, “Abraham’s Warrior” is a notable example of textural finesse. In truth, this is a piano-less waltz showcasing Kerr’s bass pedals, Chiverton’s supple brushwork with an emphasis on the snare drums, and Echazabal’s attractive timbre variations, which derives naturally from the fluency of his language.
“The Green Monk”, the first tune ever written by Echazabal, is highly symptomatic in its rhythmic accentuations and melodic drive, presenting well-oiled hinges that turn the mechanism flexible and operational. Cohen’s forward comping has much to admire, not only on this remarkable piece but also on “New Dawn”, a three-part composition painted with distinct techniques and evincing particular tempers. The pianist excels in his solo moment within the last part (reprise), stepping further afterward, when the tune fences an endearing groove. Then, the bandleader wraps it up, attaching passion and discernment to his melodic initiatives.
Short Notice is impressive and becomes even more admirable when we think of it as a debut album. Even if some tunes had their origin in an academic environment (with a little stimulus and push from educators such as Terence Blanchard and Shelly Berg), their level is far from scholastic, rather proclaiming an elevated maturity and care for the sound.