Sant Pau 44 – Quartet

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4.0 out of 5 star rating 4.0

COMPOSERS: Sant Pau 44
LABELS: Arrabal
WORKS: Sant Pau 44 – Quartet
PERFORMER: Paul Romo, Koldo Uriatre, Iosu Lzagurre, Hasier Oleaga, Alejandro Mingot
CATALOGUE NO: ER002

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The Basque country is not the first place that springs to mind when thinking of jazz, but the region seems to have a thriving scene. Witness Sant Pau 44’s young and confident players, swinging unpretentiously and unselfconsciously through an hour’s worth of clever, original compositions. Altoist Raul Romo’s assured style is reminiscent of Lee Konitz. Cool, even and smooth he avoids the crosscurrent clichés of the bebop-informed alto without being bland, and his sound is sweet-toned across the full range of the horn.

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Pianist Koldo Uriarte is modestly attentive when playing behind Romo, but his right hand asserts itself brightly when he takes off on a solo run. Neither does the rhythm section hang back, with Iosu Izagirre and Hasier Oleaga competitively climbing over one another to keep the pace up. The quartet is joined in two numbers by the luminous chords of guitarist Alejandro Mingot. Garry Boot