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(44:54; Jonatan Pina Duluc)
TRACK LIST: 1. Substancia I 3:30 2. La Hoja Vertical 5:11 3. Substancia II 4:37 4. Substancia III 3:49 5. Charm 4:44 6. S.A.C. 7:13 7. Substancia IV 3:56 8. La Hoja Horizontal 6:18 9. Sappy Times with the Regal Caribbean Mannequins 5:36 LINEUP: Jonatan Pina Duluc - all instruments
Prolusion. Based in The Dominican Republic, Jonatan Pina DULUC is among other things a multiple winner of the Premio Nacional de Musica award in his home nation, although in a progressive rock context he is probably best known for being a member of jazz-rock band El Trio for a number of years. Duluc started his solo career in 2017, and in 2018 he self-released his second solo album "Substancia".
Analysis. With a background in a jazz-rock band, it isn't all that surprising to hear that jazz-oriented and inspired music is a running thread in the solo albums of Duluc so far. Other elements and style details will obviously be found, jazz is an inclusive genre in that manner, but ultimately this is an album that will be filed under either jazz or jazz-rock by the music archivists. Duluc's initial solo album was a rather challenging production, featuring many challenging and demanding escapades that had a liberal approach to the use of melodies and harmonies as something of an ongoing feature. More avant-garde than experimental arguably, and possibly flavored just a little bit by a rock in opposition spirit to boot. Many of the same tendencies can be found on this second album by Duluc as well. One might say that this second album is both a continuation and showcasing a straight development of Duluc as a composer and solo artist, where the expressive aspects of his creativity are now a bit more reigned in and explored in a somewhat broader context. The compositions are generally longer this time around, and also more complex due to this alone. The material has a more advanced structure as well, with most songs featuring several segments and sequences and instances of repeated or revisited core themes and motifs to strengthen the individual impressions of each and every song. In shape or form one can separate the creations here into two slightly different categories. On one hand we have the tracks that focus just about exclusively on being challenging, demanding and expressive. Often with a chaotic spirit to them, featuring dissonances, odd and unusual harmonies and otherwise staying safely away from many common norms and closing in on idioms more common in free form and improvised music. On the other hand we have compositions where these more demanding aspects described above are paired off with passages with a more conventional touch to them, first and foremost by including multiple instances of a more groove-oriented orientation. Often with a Latin touch to them, on a couple of occasions reminding me ever so slightly about Santana. There's also one case where I think Duluc is having a bit of fun with Latin-American jazz-rock, employing various cliches that are developed into more ironic versions of themselves. I might be mistaken there of course, and that my impression of a subtly dry, sardonic musician's humor is faulty on this occasion. Still, it is the impression I get.
Conclusion. For those who love and treasure instrumental jazz-rock of a more challenging variety, and adore music of this kind incorporating avant-garde oriented passages and generally being of a demanding nature, this second solo album by Jonatan Pina Duluc should be a real treat. With percussion details arguably also adding in flavors from the specific music traditions of the Dominican Republic, this production comes with it's own particular flavor due to this as well. A niche production in many ways, but one I imagine will be treasured by the niche in which I suspect this music is geared towards.
Progmessor: October 7th 2019
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