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FAME Review: El 5o Elemento - Swing Para Una Nota
El 5o Elemento - Swing Para Una Nota

Swing Para Una Nota

El 5o Elemento

Urtext Digital Classics - JBCC026

Available from Urtext Digital Classics.

A review written for the Folk & Acoustic Music Exchange
by Mark S. Tucker

First of all, the translation (this CD is printed up entirely in Spanish text) is Swing for a Single Note by The 5th Element, though I'm pretty sure you'd already guessed that. However, in case the 'swing' label might mislead you a bit, there's a plenitude of inside and outside playing pervading the disc, as well as balmy balladry in cuts like Alone. Pianist, arranger, director, and lead man Felipe Gordillo possesses a rare soft bop approach to the keys striking for its preservation of the elder mode while plainly incorporating elements of Evans and others. Puzzling, though, is the fact that Swing Para Una Nota was recorded in 2005 and only recently released. The disc is a superb meld of jazz from the genre's 50s paramount statements to this very minute and should've seen immediate documentation and disbursal. Ah well, the economy's not been sound anywhere for quite some time, alas.

Then there's the intro to the very angular La Giralda incorporating Ives, Herb Alpert, Cage, and Bartok in a way that resolves into a melodic complement of all four, followed by the hot improv soloing of Smiling (and you, too, will be—smiling, that is, not improv'ing—if you like Mingus era materials), evincing the certainty that all five of these young cats have been hitting the books at the conservatory while sidelining to catch Corea, Jarrett, Dolphy, and a wide brace of heavy duty modernists. The engineering, as well, is unusual, very spacious, sounding very much as though a one-take affair all the way through, which may very well explain the vitality of the recording.

Thankfully, no matter whatever may have accounted for the hold-up on this release, the group is closing in on finishing a successor disc, and the mouth can only water at the prospect of where these cats are now, five years deeper into their immaculate chops and compositional acumen. Thus, dig into this feast posthaste and try to restrain yourself from clamoring for the next one. Go ahead, just try!

Track List:

  • Swing Para Una Nota (Felipe Gordillo)
  • Con 2 Frases (Gabriel Solares)
  • La Giralda (Felipe Gordillo)
  • Smiling (Felipe Gordillo)
  • Elementos (Felipe Gordillo)
  • Alone (Gabriel Solares)
  • Hermitage (Pat Metheny)
  • J.C. (Juan Cristobal Perez)
  • Water Lillies (Felipe Gordillo)
  • One Way Out (Mike Malone)

Edited by: David N. Pyles


Copyright 2010, Peterborough Folk Music Society.
This review may be reprinted with prior permission and attribution.
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