Artist: Fernando Huergo Big Band
Album: The Possibility Of Change
Reviewed By Scott Yanow
Jazz Artistry Now – In his career so far, bassist-composer Fernando Huergo has appeared on over 160 albums as a sideman and previously led 11 albums. Born in Cordoba, Argentina and now based in Boston, Mr. Huergo’s résumé includes associations with such notables as Luciana Souza, Danilo Perez, Dave Valentin, Hendrik Meurkens, and Dave Liebman among others. While he works regularly with such large ensembles as Guillermo Klein’s Los Gauchos and the Mehmet Sanlikol Big Band, all of his own sessions as a leader had been with smaller groups, often his quintet.
The Possibility Of Change is Mr. Huergo’s recording debut at the head of his own big band. While he plays bass throughout and has a fine solo on “The End Of Something,” this set is most significant for Mr. Huergo’s compositions (he wrote seven of the 11 selections) and arrangements. The music is modern mainstream jazz but filled with subtle surprises. The ensembles are often dense, complex polyrhythms occasionally are utilized (particularly on the opening title cut), and the musicianship of the sidemen is consistently excellent. It is an international band, with players from the U.S., Ecuador, Japan, Turkey, Venezuela, Italy, Russia and Argentina (the leader). Unfortunately the soloists are not identified but in most cases the emphasis is more on the group’s sound and the development of the compositions than on individual heroics. The ensembles are mostly cool-toned, never quite exploding, but there is plenty of inner heat felt just beneath the surface.
“The Possibility Of Change,” which is in 11/4 time, is one of the most exciting performances on the set with the unidentified fiery trumpeter taking solo honors. Thelonious Monk’s “Epistrophy” is given an unusual treatment in that a few of the rests in the melody are eliminated, giving the song a more rushed feeling that continues during the solo sections without losing the essence of the song. In contrast is “The End Of Something,” a mournful ballad that becomes a bit more hopeful as it evolves.
Other selections include “Field Of Song” which becomes high-powered and has some blazing trumpet, the relatively mellow “Caipira,” a dramatic “Ascenso,” and the inventive jazz waltz “Ellipse.” Dave Holland’s “Processional” utilizes a bass pattern that is a little reminiscent of “All Blues,” “The Big Push” is a bit bluesy and has several short solos, “Dreamers” has the leader taking the opening solo and playing stimulating and inventive patterns behind the other soloists. The inventive and mysterious melody sounds like something Wayne Shorter (who did compose “The Big Push”) might have written. “New Delhi” closes the enjoyable program with plenty of spirit and some hot and concise solos.
Those who enjoy hearing a modern big band will find much to enjoy on The Possibilities Of Change.
…While he plays bass throughout and has a fine solo on “The End Of Something,” this set is most significant for Mr. Huergo’s compositions (he wrote seven of the 11 selections) and arrangements.— Jazz Artistry Now
- The Possibility Of Change
- The End Of Something
- Field Of Sky
- The Big Push
- New Delhi
Fernando Huergo, bass, compositions
Santiago Bosch, piano
Gen Yoshimura, drums
Cosimo Boni, trumpet
Paul Sánchez, trumpet
Doug Olsen, trumpet, flugelhorn
Jeff Claassen, trumpet
Jason Camelio, trombone
Bulut Gulen or Ethan Santos, trombone
Randy Pingrey, trombone
Ryon Bean, bass trombone
Allan Chase, alto
Tucker Antell, alto or Rick Stone, alto, clarinet
Yulia Musayelyan, flute, alto
Joel Springer, tenor
Rick DiMuzio, tenor, clarinet
Daniel Ian Smith, baritone
Listen and purchase a copy online.
The Jazz Artistry Now review of The Possibility Of Change was written by Scott Yanow.
Mr. Yanow has written 11 books on jazz, over 800 liner notes, and more than 20,000 recording reviews through the years.
His writing has graced virtually all of the top jazz magazines and he is happy to be a featured contributor to Jazz Artistry Now.