LATEST REVIEWS FOR Tonadas
5 STAR review, BBC Music Magazine, Sept 2018
Tonadas on Edition Records, Dave Stapleton
“The delicious opening notes…tell you something good is going to happen...one of Europe’s finest, most in demand, jazz men…this programme of sparkling, original tunes explores that Latin heritage”
The Herald Scotland, Rob Adams, August 2018
“...superb collection of compositions enhanced by a trio of musicians who put their imaginations and musical personalities at the service of a genuine group effort.”
4 star Guardian Review For “Tonadas”
“Argüelles is a gifted artist currently in his sophisticated prime: jazz, classical, and multi-cultural folk music all influence him, and distilled Spanish motifs (his mother was Catalonian) give this fine album its character….[the quartet] possess immense spontaneous fluency, but Argüelles’s atmospheric compositions complete their rich mix of improv and forethought.” JOHN FORDHAM
4.5 STAR review The Jazzmann
"The writing is rich and melodic, sometimes complex but always engaging, and the standard of playing from all four musicians is exceptional. Another milestone in Arguelles’ glittering career.
Full Review http://www.thejazzmann.com/reviews/review/julian-arguelles-tonadas/
Review in the Italian magazine Jazz Convention http://www.jazzconvention.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3812%3Ajulian-argueelles-tonadas&catid=2%3Arecensioni&Itemid=11
"In short, a solid and lively album that reveals both the compositional skills, never predictable, of Argüelles... and the perfect integration with young and excellent musicians who contribute to give the project an unusual melodic freshness."
4 STAR review London Evening Standard
"There’s an ECM-like sense of space here, too, and touches of the blues. But it’s the melodies, elegant and joyful, that linger. Superb.” Jane Cornwell
ABC Jazz, Jessica Nichols
”...have the album and it’s terrific!”
FT Mike Hobart JULY 27, 2018, 4 stars
The hallmark of Julian Argüelles’s saxophone sound combines a centred tone with clean articulation and clear phrasing. It reflects disciplines learnt in big bands ranging from the UK’s genre-exploring Loose Tubes in the 1980s to recent collaborations with Germany’s NDR. This rigour brings clarity to the interactive narratives and multiple influences on which Argüelles’s small groups thrive. His 2015 album Let it be Told celebrated South African traditions, and European influences, both classical and folk, are a feature in all his work. This CD, the second release by his working quartet Tetra, explores the Staffordshire-born saxophonist’s Spanish roots with a collection of lyrical themes, the Tonadas, or tunes, of the title. The inflected accents, rhythmic patterns and distinctive scales of Spanish music are present, though, for the most part, merged into a broad European jazz aesthetic. And there is none of the emotive brooding that can be such a cliché. The album begins with a catchy Ivo Neame piano figure, a patter of James Madden’s drums and Argüelles’s purposeful statement of the opening theme. “Alalá”, named after a traditional northern Spanish song, rises and falls over the polyrhythmic bustle of drums. “Bulerías” interprets an Andalusian form as a tricky theme snaking through the contours of Sam Lasserson’s single-note double bass. And on the joyfully airy “Alegrías” the rhythm-section features the distinctive whump of cajón. But overall, the album stands out for its firmly signposted narrative jazz, and the Spanish inflections are really no more than that. “Alfama”, a lilting theme for soprano sax, is a highlight of sparkling piano, while “Tonadillia” begins as a spacious elegy, gathers force and ends as a simple song, the “ditty” of the track title. “Sevilla” is another slow burn and “Barrio Gótico” is all angles, interplay and slants. The album ends with the beautiful ballad, “Tía Mercedes”, a memorial to Argüelles’s recently deceased aunt. The balance of emotion and form is just right, as it is on the album throughout.
Review from Evening Standard’s Jane Cornwell
“This music is profoundly joyful and masterfully produced.“
“European Jazz at its finest blending Spanish roots, Nordic space and sound with one of the brightest and most talented British bands around.
Tonadas (simply meaning Tunes) is the lyrical and vibrant new quartet album from saxophonistJulian Argüelles. Drawing on his Spanish roots Argüelles has produced a gem - a beautifully warm, harmonically rich and melodic album, abundant with an elegant tone and absorbing colour. Tonadas has everything you’d want and expect from a contemporary Jazz album, yet it surprises on another level. With shifting turns of phrase and effortlessly flowing band interplay, Argüelles’ growing status as a master composer, bandleader and creator are clear. This music is profoundly joyful and masterfully produced.”
4 Stars, Written In Music (NL), Full Review http://www.writteninmusic.com/pop/julian-arguelles-tonadas/
"Tonadas is a beautiful jazz album…With each listen, those favorites change again, I have already noticed. As is always the case with truly special albums..Tonadas is again a clear proof of the great class of Argüelles. As a saxophonist, he shows a free, varied and, above all, very strong game that not only lasts but also moves. As a composer, he surprises with compositions full of strong melody lines, surprising twists and a rich palette of emotions. Neame, Lasserson and Maddren also have ample time to throw their class and optimal musical growth from the backline into the limelight. Tonadas is more than worth the purchase."
"...surely one of the most distinctive voices in British and European jazz...This album is quintessential Argüelles and a delight to be savoured.” LondonJazz, Mike Collins. Full review http://www.londonjazznews.com/2018/07/cd-review-julian-arguelles-tonadas.html
"What a mature, compact master in jazz from England and Europe!” NDR record of the week.
“…the tracks, all originals, mirror the composer's eclectic proclivities. More importantly, the album engages the listener at every level.” 4.5 Stars, All About Jazz. Full review HERE.
"Small musical treasures from the Britain who has taught at the Kunstuni Graz for several years on tenor and soprano saxophone. A touch of Spanish folklore with the extremely tricky rhythms of all sorts of Spanish dances resonates - for example in "Sevilla", the musical portrait of the capital of Andalusia.” Review Kurier newspaper (Austria) 22 July 2018
LATEST REVIEWS FOR Setembro (EDN1099):
“This is about communication in the ultra class and the three conduct conversations that it’s a real pleasure to be involved with. "Setembro" means the ninth month of the year. This is nevertheless music that can and should be enjoyed throughout the year. So beautiful is it.” TOR HAMMERO (NO). Full Review HERE.
"Arguelles’ soprano floats like a cirrus cloud....Watercolors of sound." Jazz Weekly (US) Feb 8, Setembro. Full Review HERE
"A frequently beautiful album that fulfils its goals superbly. The quality of the writing, and of the playing, is exceptional throughout" Setembro CD. Review by Ian Mann, 3 January 2018. Full Review HERE.
[Julian Argüelles] "...one of Europe’s most inventive saxophonists" John Fordham, The Guardian, October 2017. Full Review HERE
"This beguiling trio brings together three beautifully measured musicians from across Europe to create sounds of a deeply meditative, lyric nature, forging disparate approaches into a ruminative statement that succinctly expresses many of the guiding principles of jazz from the continent." Downbeat Review, Setembro CD, Nov 2017
Guardian, 4 star Review for "Setembro" (12/10/17) with Julian, Mario Laginha and Helge Andreas Norbakken HERE
Setembro is Jazz album of the week at http://www.soulandjazz.com/ (13/10/17)
4/5 from UK Vibe for "Setembro" (6/10/17). Click HERE to read full review.
4.5 Star Reveiew from Portugal (in Portuguese) Click HERE
Setembro is CD of the week NDR, playing a track a day! (Week of 6/10/17)
4 Star Review for Setembro, All About Jazz 26/9/17: Click HERE to read full review.
"Setembro" release on Edition Records, 6 October. Mário Laginha piano, myself on saxes and Helge Norbakken on percussion & drums. Featuring Mário's music with two tracks from me. Click HERE to listen & buy CD and for more information. We will tour a few dates in the UK in October. Click HERE for information & to book tickets.
4 Star Review Guardian 13/10/17: "Laginha’s compositions have a chemistry of communal vivacity and lyricism...one of Europe’s most inventive saxophonists..." Read Full review HERE
- 4/5 from UK Vibe: "This has all the feel and intimacy of an ECM project". Full Review HERE.
- Downbeat Review: "This beguiling trio brings together three beautifully measured musicians from across Europe to create sounds of a deeply meditative, lyric nature, forging disparate approaches into a ruminative statement that succinctly expresses many of the guiding principles of jazz from the continent." (November 2017 Edition of mag.)
4 Star Review All About Jazz 26/9/17: "Ultimately, this gorgeous album leaves the listener in a state of sublime tranquillity." Read full review HERE.
Latest live performance review of Tetra from Wolverhampton Arena performance, 20 May 2017 - Full Review HERE
"...Argüelles showed that his playing on tenor and soprano grows ever more imaginative. His concert at the Arena Theatre was high quality from the first note to the last." John Watson, Jazz Journal.
Peter Bacon, JazzBreakfast - Full Review HERE
"...one of the very finest saxophonists in modern jazz in this – or for that matter in any – country." Julian Arguelles Tetra feat Percy Pursglove, ABH Hall Birmingham,11/6/16
LET IT BE TOLD CD (Basho Records April 2015)
Julian Argüelles and Frankfurt Radio Big Band featuring; Django Bates and Steve Argüelles playing the music of South African Exiles. All arrangements (except track 7) by Julian Argüelles.
Click here for YouTube promo for this critically acclaimed CD. Join mailing list, buy the CD on this site and claim your free and exclusive download.
BEST ALBUMS OF 2015 - TELEGRAPH
Mike Gates 5/5
"...the South African influence on European jazz is an abiding one, and this album is, to my ears, the finest tribute to that influence and those musicians I’ve ever heard. ...the excitement is almost too much to take. Heavens, can this band swing!"
Peter Bacon, Jazz Breakfast, 30/4/15
"...he [Argüelles] perfectly embodies that spirit in a rich, sunshiny big band recording which is both thrilling and, at times, surprisingly moving. A great Summer groove!"
Adrian S Pallant, online review, 28/4/15
"For those who know this music this is a wonderful series of reinventions; for any who don’t, a treat that is sure to inspire further exploration." London Jazz Blog, Jon Turney, 21/4/15
"Argüelles' joyous rearrangements... Enjoy, celebrate & dance in Frankfurt, Cape Town and Frith Street. And never forget." 4 Star, Jazzwise May 2015
"Indestructibly tuneful township jazz" Dave Gelly, The Observer, 4 stars, 30/3/15
"Rich with inventive elegance and palpable atmosphere."
★★★★ MOJO Magazine (Top 10 albums of 2016 )
"An excellent album that impresses with the quality of both the writing and the playing and ranks right up there with Arguelles' best work"
4.5 stars!! Tetra CD, the Jazz Mann (Ian Mann), 15 Jan 2016. Click HERE for full review
"...this is great music from a great band and everything we have come to expect from Julian Argüelles." Sandy Brown Reviews December, review by Howard Lawes
"...At times Argüelles come across as a composite of Charles Lloyd and Wayne Shorter. A fine recording, then, all round." 4/5 review, 30th November UK Vibe, click HERE for full review by Tim Stenhouse
"...you’ll struggle to find a better jazz album released in 2015 anywhere than this." October 2015, Marlbank.net, 4 Star review(click HERE for full version)
"Tetra is a burst of Golden Sunshine."
Bebop Spoken Here, October 2015 (click HERE for full version)
"...displaying Argüelles’ consistent talent for freewheeling jazz ventures packed with striking compositions.This is a jazz album to its core, yet full of non-generic surprises." John Fordham, Guardian 4 / 5 star review, October 2015
(click HERE for full version)
"...it’s never easy to keep a tune strong, simple and without sentiment, but this band nail it...surgingly bobtastic... It’s all really rather splendid."
Jazzwise, 4 star review, Andy Robson, November 2015 (click HERE for full version)
Hear sample tracks and buy CD HERE.
On this CD, Tetra are: Julian Argüelles sax & bandleader and all compositions, Kit Downes piano, Sam Lasserson bass and James Maddren drums. For the latest news, join my mailing list HERE. Follow us on Twitter @julargtetra and Julian @julargjazz