"Joan has a fine understanding of each song, having clearly researched original versions and superb interpretations. You can hear the comprehension in his feel. His blowing is loving and sympathetic, and he curls around each melody on the horn as if dancing with the songs."
"Marc Myers, Jazz Wax"
"What he sounds like to be is delightful: lyrical but fluent, fast on his feet with every note ringing chime-like. Airborne but serious. He's heard many people but — hooray! — he sounds like himself. Joan is comfortable simply playing the melody — that great art — or embellishing it, making it shine even more."
"Michael Steinman, Jazz Lives"
"The 25-year-old Sauqué looks recognisably soulful on the cover of this debut album. Melodically and rhythmically, he also sounds like a player of an earlier generation."
"Brian Priestley, Jazzwise"
Joan Mar Sauqué Trumpet
Josep Traver Guitar
Giuseppe Campisi Bass
Adrià Vidaña Sound Enginer
Recorder in December 2020
at Sotrack Records
Fernando O. de Urbina Notes
Blanca Funes Artwork & Photography
These songs speak for themselves, but few pointers may be needed. With the melody prevailing over soloists' egos, the trio takes one minute sharp to dispatch Thad Jones's Bitty Ditty, a brief appetizer preceding one of the cornerstones of the session: as far as we can tell, this is only the second recording of Jly Dream, after the Harlan Leonard orchestra 's in 1940, where its composer, Tadd Dameron, served as principal arranger. Hearing the result, one wonders why no one else had thought of this. And this is no happenstance: Sauquá scores another goal when he unearths another Dameron gem, Kitchenette Across the Hall from 1948, which its author never got around to record commercially. In-depth knowledge of the past is not the cause of Rea -Book fatigue, but its remedy.
A "rhythm changes" with a different bridge, originally recorded by Dizzy Gillespie and his band in 1946, Ra;r's Idea turns the spotlight on Campisi's bass, fittingly, given that "Ray" was Brown, a king of the instrument. Traver, a versatile and forceful accompanist, has a chance to shine under the spotlight too. Both sidemen take the floor again on another Dizzy big band staple, In the Land o-r Oo-JBla-.Dee, where Sauqué manages to sound fresh and innocent with the cup mute. That sound returns in the lyrical highlight of the record, Gigi Gryce's Strictl;r Romantic, one of those tunes which had the composer and his young compatriots in the Lionel Hampton band literally sneaking out through windows in order to put them on record.
Of the more common titles, two stand out as the opposite ends of Sauqué's range: Stompin' at the Savo;r is a showcase for his ability with the pixie+plunger combo -- echoes from Ellingtonian jungles --, while on Gone with the Wind he follows the routes opened by the second generation of boppers like Art Farmer, no screaming or screeching, with a warm tone and some double-time flying.
As an art form where excellence is a long game, jazz may not be the most suitable endeavour for this day and age. Unless, of course, it is what you feel you have to do. This is the case for Sauqué, a man with a clear idea of what needs to be done.
"(Fernando O. de Urbina, Easy Does It)"