10 out of 10 review from 50djs50states.com
Jazz greats Julio Awad and Patxi Pascual have joined together to release their debut CD, Flash & Shadow. Their first single; Flash & Shadow pt. 1 combines Piano and Saxophone in an elegant manner that explores intricate musical concepts and phrasing while maintaining a soothing melody that entertains the listener yet challenges them just the same. As the piano shapes the melodies, the saxophone is given plenty of space to explore dynamic harmonies and create wonderful motifs which set the pace for the theme of the track.
With an incredible list of accomplishments, pianist Julio Awad is adding this Jazz project to his catalog of classical, film, and stage performances. As a highly decorated musician, Julio brings experience, maturity, and professionalism to every project; Flash & Shadow is no different. Maintaining a tight rhythm, his timing and form keep the melodic approach deep in the pocket while his left hand adds an almost percussive timekeeper from the otherwise lack of a drummer.
In contrast the acclaimed woodwind player, Patxi Pascual is no stranger to collaborative efforts. With his impressive list of projects featuring the largest names in Spanish Flamenco, Big Band, and Jazz this innovative soloist is able to bring his signature upper register to this elegant offering. As a jazz performer, Patxi maintains his position in the listening spectrum, never overshadowing his musical partner, yet blending his sounding in a finely weaved placement of notes which complement each of the melodic figures presented to him.
As each performer trades off the spotlight in Flash & Shadow Pt. 1, the listener is treated to a dynamic contrast of brilliance with the saxophone soloing in that upper register while the piano keeps the bottom- end and mids. This separation is only truly appreciated with the blending of the notes within the harmonic structure as the two players expertly bounce overtones off each other to make give Flash & Shadow pt. 1 its full and complete sound. What I truly appreciate here is the saxophone staying in the upper key as the Flash, while the piano brings up the Shadow. It serves as a consistent nod to the theme of the track to maintain this wonderful coloring.
Flash & Shadow pt.1 would be an excellent addition to any commercial Jazz radio playlist, as the soothing melodies and infectious harmony grab the listener and suck them into the diverse musical explorations. As each cadence leaves a tension this duo is able to resolve each phrase with passion and conviction.
Flash & Shadow pt.1 is a highly enjoyable track, worthy of many listens. The mix is crisp and clear with all those overtones ringing out brilliantly. The overall atmosphere is majestic and fulfilling as listeners who may not have had a chance to hear these players are treated to a very available track ready to be absorbed by an audience eager for wonderful experiences. Julio Awad and Patxi Pascual deliver an experience with this collaborative effort, an experience that is eager to be shared and accepted by even the most critical audiences.