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Friday, October 20, 2023

Clara Lai - Corpos (Phonogram Unit, 2023)

By Stef Gijssels

It's a great start to make your debut trio album a winner, and that's the case with this album by Clara Lai on piano, Alex Reviriego on double bass, and Oriol Roca on drums. 

We already met Lai on José Lencastre's Common Ground album from last year, and are not yet familiar with her other recently released albums. She is trained in classical piano and has a bachelor in jazz improvisation. With her new trio she creates music that is fresh, inventive and entertaining. Reviriego and Roca are also from Barcelona, and have been reviewed in several ensembles over the past years. 

Lai's music is one of structural improvisation, sculpting sonic patterns out of the fog of ideas, making them concrete and real, before they disappear again in their original background. It is a music of creative surprise, intimate like poetry at times, introverted, disciplined freedom. Both Reviriego and Roca co-create the sound, and grasp the intentions and voice of the piece perfectly. 

The first tracks are more compact and focused on exquisite and intense interaction. Only on the second part of "Corpo III" does this also lead to an increase in power and volume, and a more extroverted approach, the pivotal centre of the album. The last two tracks are longer exploratory pieces with great space for both bass and drums to demonstrate the power of some extended techniques to create a unique sonic atmosphere. 

Don't miss it. 

Listen and download from Bandcamp