, guitarist and composer Carlos Saunier paints from a palette of global jazz styles to color his debut release in bright and articulate sound from a distinctively warm, contemporary jazz perspective.
Saunier bought his first guitar at age 13 while growing up in Santiago, Chile. “The first thing that attracted my attention was the sound of the guitar—how it can be processed and even sometimes distorted to sound thoroughly modern,” he recalls. “I began to study contemporary rock and all its derivative styles.” The guitarist continued to explore rock and its derivatives in his formal studies until 2011, when he discovered jazz and jazz fusion.
Jazz and its derivatives have been guitarist Saunier’s focus ever since. Released in August 2017, Inminente
floats upon Saunier’s graceful, flowing compositions and the sharp yet supple accompaniment of Francisco Barahona (bass), Felix Lecaros
(drums) and especially tenor saxophonist Claudio Rubio. In many tunes, such as “28,” saxophone and guitar sing together so closely that their two voices become one. Drummer Lecaros often sounds like erudite drum powerhouse Jack DeJohnette
, rarely playing in a straight or linear rhythm as his swirls and pulses (and, in “Franky,” the occasional wallop) move each song along its rhythmic path. Bandleader Saunier wisely allows his tenor saxophonist and drummer to paint the dominant colors and adds only subtle shades to their evocative, closing meditation “Z.”
But Inminente mostly spotlights Saunier’s guitar. His sound, so warm and clean and bright, makes evident the influence of Pat Metheny
, more mainstream artists such as John Stein
and Larry Carlton
(in “28”), and more adventurous jazz players such as John Scofield (“El Espiritu de la Escalera”). Saunier nimbly spins the opening to “Franky” into a magical web that ties up the rhythm section in his guitar lines. After singing sweet harmony with tenor saxophonist Maxi Alarcón to open the title track, Saunier’s guitar and Lecaros’ cymbals twinkle in the background like a glistening canopy of stars against the nighttime sky. His lively “Tocino” suggests the melodic touch of Dave Brubeck
played in a more modern style. “I believe I have mainly been influenced by Bill Evans
and Pat Metheny,” Saunier suggests. “But my style is also influenced by another Chilean guitarist, Jorge Diaz, who has helped me study for the past several years. I should also mention bassist Christian Galvez, from whom I learned musical study methods and theory.”Inminente
’s inquisitive, engaging sound reflects the guitarist’s approach to music. “I love to be able to offer something that is not evident or expected, to be able to get interesting chords, textures and colors with just a few instruments or notes,” Saunier explains. “The fun part for me is being able to listen to the band playing together and to see where it is possible to escape from what is already written without losing the idea of the song.”
Saunier has already received two Bronze medals—for Jazz, and for Emerging Artist—from the Global Music Awards competition for Inminente