Quartet Equinox - Flamenco Jazz

 

Recently I reviewed Dirk K's newest release Dirk K Plays Antonio Carlos Jobim. His newest project is the group Quartet Equinox. Members of the group are besides Dirk K (guitar), Dean Taba (upright bass), Andy Suzuki (sax, flute, clarinet) and Brad Dutz (Cajon, hand percussion, vibes, marimba). Their first album is called Flamenco Jazz and was recorded live on May 1st and 2nd 2007 at Eagle Rock Studios, Los Angeles, CA.

Flamenco Jazz is a fusion of Flamenco and Jazz. Dirk comments: "The style of music is categorized as Flamenco and Jazz, simply because it uses original flamenco rhythms such as the Buleria, Rumba and Solea Por Buleria and many more and mixes them with Swing elements and Jazz chords, utilizing the cool vibe of Jazz, but keeping the excitement of Flamenco. So this is not traditional music, this is a new fusion of styles, keeping an all acoustic feel".

Flamenco is a Spanish musical genre rooted in the region of Andalusia. John McLaughlin, Al Di Meola and Paco De Lucia are prominent guitarists combining Jazz and Flamenco in the past. Even Quartet Equinox is not Dirk's first step to combine these musical elements. Dirk K and Dan Sistos as the formation Acoustic Journey have released the album This is Flamenco Jazz. Another project is Das ‹berschall melting Flamenco, Jazz, Fusion and Rock.

Diving into the music of Flamenco Jazz we find 7 C's. The return to past acoustic values reminds me of medieval music structures. Flamenco has a long tradition and Quartet Equinox  really goes back to the roots. The extensive use of acoustic instruments as shown in Is That You conveys an authentic atmosphere.

On Mountain Brook Dirk K showcases in a spacious solo his exquisite mastership on the Flamenco guitar perfectly accompanied by Deans warm upright bass. The main weight of the album is Flamenco music with substantial jazz elements especially transferred by Andy's sax.

Titles like Near The Waterside suggest a constant Latin influence and indeed this song sensitively incorporate the spirit of Rumba. New Mexico however is a difficult piece with elements of free jazz. So I clinch to melody fragments which appear from time to time on Palos Verdes. Flamenco music styles are called palos in Spanish.

Solista (Soloist) underlines the influence of the Moriscos on Flamenco. On Woodstock To Hollywood In 15 we can even listen to some swing elements.

Flamenco Jazz is Dirk K's latest ambitious endeavor to combine the elements of Jazz and Flamenco. For lovers of the Flamenco certainly a new experience of this passionate and seductive musical art.

 

 

 

 

  • Quartet Equinox - Website
     
  • Bio
     
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  • Title: Flamenco Jazz
    Artist: Quartet Equinox
    Year: 2007
    Length: 0:53:00
    Genre: General World
    Label: DIP Records


    Tracks:
    01 7 C's [5:42]
    02 Is That You [4:58]
    03 Mountain Brook [7:38]
    04 Near The Waterside [7:55]
    05 New Mexico [7:27]
    06 Palos Verdes [7:13]
    07 Solista [4:19]
    08 Woodstock To Hollywood In 15 [7:48]