Andy Sheppard Quartet Romaria CD
Romaria is the latest chapter in a musical story that began with saxophonist Andy Sheppard's free-flowing Trio Libero recording with bassist Michel Benita and drummer Sebastian Rochford back in 2011.
The creative understanding between the three highly-individual protagonists was unmissable. For the subsequent album Surrounded by Sea, recorded in 2014, Eivind Aarset was added on guitar and electronics, bringing the group to quartet size and broadening its work method. As Sheppard explained to UK website Jazz Views, "I wanted to take what I was doing with Trio Libero and add the harmonies that I can hear in my head when playing with just bass and drums. Eivind is an amazing 'orchestral' voice with exquisite taste – the perfect choice for this role." In an interview with Jazzwise magazine, Sheppard went further: "The sound-world that I have with this quartet is my dream band." US magazine Jazz Times called the quartet's music "impressionistic yet suffused with piercing emotional clarity," a description also applicable for Romaria.
In this new programme of compositions by Andy Sheppard (plus the title track by Brazilian singer-songwriter Renato Teixeira) the drones and washes of Eivind Aarset's guitar and electronics once again help to establish a climate in which improvisation can take place. There's a highly atmospheric, ambient drift to the music which Sheppard clearly finds liberating, as do Michel Benita and Seb Rochford, free to move in and out of conventional rhythm section roles and to make impassioned statements of their own.
And there is also drive: rubato and propulsive elements can co-exist and overlap in Sheppard's musical universe, see for instance "Thirteen,"
"They Came From The North" and "All Becomes Again", all distinguished by dynamic interaction.
New programme of compositions by Andy Sheppard (plus the title track by Brazilian singer-songwriter Renato Teixeira). Recorded at Lugano's Auditorio Stelio Molo in April 2017 and produced by Manfred Eicher.
Release Date: 23 Feb 2018
Artist: Andy Sheppard Quartet
Catalogue No: 602557869804