Renowned Catalan drummer Xavi Reija has got together with two notable musicians, pianist José Carra and José Manuel Posada “Pop” on bass to form a trio to explore this collection of songs and melodies. My first connection with Xavi’s work came when I reviewed The Sound of the Earth in 2019. Whereas that excellent album was not so easy to categorise, this release leans more towards a jazz orientation.
With a running time of just over forty minutes, the eight tracks were composed and produced by Xavi, recording completed at La Case Murada during January 2020, assisted by Jesús Rovira, with mixing and mastering in March at Ancaduarda Studios with Eduardo Ruiz Joya.
At first listen you may be mistaken to think it sounds like another cool jazz album, but no, it is so much more, the subtle precision and detail of the playing is just astonishing. The trio have an uncanny ability to play with and around each other, complementing and supporting throughout. Xavi’s sensitive and interpretive playing is wonderfully matched by piano and bass to provide a complete and mesmerising whole.
Xavi’s writing offers an emotional honesty and openness which is reflected in each composition. On this album he has bookended it with two songs in memory of his sadly departed parents. The opening song, Remembrance, is a tribute to his father and his role in shaping Xavi into who he is today, a gentle but simple opening with the piano so effective, supported by drums and bass which adds texture and feeling. No one instrument dominates, it’s just a perfect whole and a fitting tribute in my opinion.
The last but one track is Mom, a piano-led song along with Xavi’s delicate touches and cymbals supported by a lovely subtle bassline, altogether contributing to provide a beautiful and fitting tribute to Xavi’s mother. There is obvious passion and emotional feeling in this song, and they convey this to the listener in the most wonderful way, a track which makes you want to immediately hit replay
There are songs here which drive the tempo along. Two Steps Ahead ups the pace, Xavi the driving force with some great and notable drum patterns. Again elsewhere, on the track Time Warps, the song is driven forward by Xavi’s precise drumming and “Popo”‘s great bass, allowing room for José’s piano to dance along on top of the rhythm, the instruments weaving together in an often mesmerising way.
The album closes with the title track Dreamscape Room, finishing proceedings with a flourish of positivity. The high standard and detail of playing is nothing short of amazing, the main feature of these songs being how these great musician blend together to create a very memorable album.
An album that reflects the players’ love of this music, beautifully crafted and performed throughout. This is how modern jazz should sound and I feel it deserves to be more widely heard.
01. Remembrance (3:57)
02. Two Steps Ahead (4:07)
03. To My Friend (4:08)
04. A lifetime With You (6:06)
05. Time Warps (6:32)
06. Mirror (6:06)
07. Mom (5:11)
08. Dreamscape Room (5:08)
Total Time : 41:15
Xavier Reija – Drums
José Carra – Piano
José Manuel Posada – “Popo”, bass
Record Label: Independent
Country of Origin: Spain
Date of Release: 7th May 2020