Pianist Emilio Solla and Saxophonist Antonio Lizana Showcase Shared Devotion to Flamenco and Folklore-Inspired Rhythms on ‘El Siempre Mar’ due out May 19, 2023 via Tiger Turn
Album preview of El Siempre Mar to take place on Sunday, March 25 at Joe’s Pub as part of the Flamenco Festival, New York
Tiger Turn is proud to announce the May 19, 2023 release of El Siempre Mar, the latest output from heralded pianist Emilio Solla and in-demand saxophonist and vocalist Antonio Lizana. El Siempre Mar follows the critical reception of Solla’s Latin GRAMMY® Award-winning Puertos (2019), the rapturous, propulsive fruits of his 17-piece Tango Jazz Orchestra. Upholding his devotion toward Tango music and its history on his 13th leader recording, the multi-GRAMMY nominated Solla returns alongside the prolific Lizana for a virtuous welding of jazz-infused, cross-continental Latin styles. Fusing Solla’s jazz- tango and folkloric influences and Lizana’s roots in flamenco, El Siempre Mar unites musicians born from two continents between the Atlantic Ocean as they celebrate the rhythmic vernacular of cantes de ida y vuelta.
This historic expression harkens back to centuries of cultural exchange between peninsular Spain and the countries of Latin America. Otherwise known as flamenco ’roundtrip songs’, the term cantes de ida y vuelta canvasses a vast array of flamenco palos, several musical forms which Solla and Lizana exercise here with fervency. After attending one of Lizana’s performances several years ago and sparking conversation, Solla found common ground with the Spain-native, discovering their shared love for many of the same cantes that stood sanctified in each’s musicianship.
El Siempre Mar, therefore, is vast and eclectic much like the spirit of its origins. While Solla anchors the crew on piano and Lizana swiftly divides his time between vocals and saxophone, bassist Jorge Roeder (Julian Lage, Shai Maestro) and drummer/percussionist Ferenc Nemeth (Lionel Loueke) round off a hyper-creative and uniformly technical rhythm section. A native of Lima, Roeder’s versatile musical vocabulary shines brightly alongside his Afro-Peruvian roots throughout El Siempre Mar. Nemeth, who hails from Hungary, upholds his reputation as an expansive accompanist with a breadth of cultural influences and credits. Sensitivity and devotion to global sounds characterize the entirety of El Siempre Mar’s configuration. Powerhouse Latin-GRAMMY® nominated vocalist Roxana Ahmed joins this circle briefly as well, endowing the set with her original “Lejos de casa” against the ethereal guest string quartet of Javier Weintraub, Cecilia García, Javier Portero and Patricio Villarejo
It begins with a feat, “El arriero”, originally written by trailblazing 20th century Argentine folk musician Atahualpa Yupanqui. Priming the listener with bountiful improvisational groundwork, the tune is set over the flamenco beat bulerías al golpe, on which a rapid 12/8 rhythm weaves a variety of influences: the drum pattern inspired by an Argentinian dance form, huayno, and the piano drawing a line evocative of a milonga. Solla refers to the tune as “a quintessential representation of what this album is about” and when describing its cluster of South American influences, cites that it all makes sense together, “as if there were an invisible net connecting it all across the ocean.”
Solla originals like “Vidalita – Buenos Aires blues,” ruminate in a Coltrane-etched, hard-bop atmosphere, while “El otro mar” can “reveal Solla as the master composer and arranger who deftly weaves together the familiar with the fresh,” as stated by Kabir Sehgal in the liner notes. The pair continues to graze through later chapters of the jazz canon on an arrangement of Chick Corea’s “Silencio de cristal,” though the two have also recently collaborated on an entirely separate symphonic project dedicated to the late jazz titan. Lizana and company breathe prisms of emotion into the ballad “Luna tucumana”, another Yupanqui tune, where an impassioned opening morphs into an uplifting redirection of melody at the turn of Roeder’s thumps. The collaborative Lizana-Solla composition “La piedra” is another album highlight accentuating the synergy of the pair.
For an album inspired by the music of his childhood split between Mendoza and Buenos Aires, it was fitting for Solla to pay homage to another pillar of Argentinian culture in its title. El Siempre Mar borrows from influential Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges, whose poem, “El Mar,” can be found in the album sleeve. Though its translation to English is complex, the meaning thoroughly captures the essence of this new masterwork. The sea, the Atlantic Ocean which separates Solla’s Argentina and Lizana’s Spain, was here first. Before man had an understanding of time or the words to express it, he had “the always sea,” and in this case, rather than being separated by it, Emilio Solla and Antonio Lizana have united.
The music of El Siempre Mar will be previewed on Sunday at Joe’s Pub as part of the Flamenco Festival, New York. More details here.
More about Emilio Solla
Latin GRAMMY® winner and multi-GRAMMY® nominee, Argentine-born and New York-based pianist and composer Emilio Solla’s first band, Apertura, (1983-1989) was praised by Astor Piazzolla as one of the most interesting new sounds in the Buenos Aires scene in 1986. Today, with thirteen CDs as bandleader and more than forty as arranger/producer, he is regarded by peers and critics as one of the most outstanding and unique composers in the Tango-Jazz field, a musical language which blends Argentine tango and folk with jazz and other contemporary music styles. He has performed all around Europe, Japan, the US and Latin America to rave reviews in many of the most important jazz houses and festivals, such as Bim Huis, Lincoln Center, Marciac, Blue Note, Fasching and more.
Solla moved to New York in 2006, and since then he has composed for, recorded and toured with Paquito D’Rivera, Arturo O’Farrill, Edmar Castañeda and many others jazz and classical music greats, besides performing regularly with his different projects at the Jazz Standard, Jazz at Lincoln Center and Birdland. Former members of his bands include jazz stars Donny McCaslin, Chris Cheek, Omer Avital, Jorge Rossy, Jeff Ballard and more.
He continues to tour Europe and the US while working as a free-lance arranger and pianist in different projects in NY. Since November 2010, he has been leading a nine piece orchestra, La Inestable de Brooklyn, featuring some of the strongest jazz players in NYC. Their first CD, Second Half (2015) was Nominated for a GRAMMY® Award as Best Latin Jazz Album. In 2018, he started composing for a new project, the Tango Jazz Orchestra, a 17-piece big band, taking his blend of Latin American sounds and jazz to a whole new level of accomplishment. This orchestra released its first album, “Puertos” on August 28, 2019. This album won the Latin GRAMMY® 2020 for Best Jazz Album and one of Solla’s compositions, La Novena, was awarded a GRAMMY® Nomination in 2019 as Best Instrumental Arrangement.
More about Antonio Lizana
Jazz saxophonist, flamenco singer and composer Antonio Lizana is one of the most celebrated representatives of new Flamenco Jazz. In the last three years, he has performed in over three hundred concerts in more than 30 countries with his band, playing in Festivals like Womex, Etnosur, SXSW Austin, the London, New York and San Francisco Flamenco Festivals, Barcelona Voll Damn, Shanghai Jazz Fest (China), Casablanca Jazz Fest (Morocco) and Flamenco Biennale (Holland).
Lizana was born in 1986 and raised in San Fernando, a province of Cádiz, one of the cradles of flamenco singing, where from a young age he collaborated with countless artists. He has been one of the only Spanish artists to record an American NPR Tiny Desk concert and has collaborated with artists such as Arturo O’Farrill and Alejandro Sanz on multiple GRAMMY® award-winning projects. He has recorded and performed among Snarky Puppy, Marcus Miller, Chano Domínguez, Alfredo Rodríguez, Ari Hoenig, Jorge Drexler, India Martínez, Jorge Pardo, Shai Maestro, Chambao, José Mercé, Josemi Carmona, Carmen Linares and Pepe Habichuela.
Lizana’s live show is described as a “breathtaking journey from flamenco roots to contemporary jazz”, all spun with his soulful lyrics which bring messages of optimism and truth to the audience of this unique artist.
- El arriero (4:37) (A. Yupanqui)
- Zamba para no morir (5:37) (H. Lima Quintana – N. Ambros – H. Rosales)
- Vidalita – Buenos Aires blues (6:34) (E. Solla)
- Luna tucumana (6:24) (A. Yupanqui)
- Siempre se vuelve a Buenos Aires (4:38) (E. Blazquez – A. Piazzolla)
- Lejos de casa (6:43) (R. Amed)
- La piedra (3:46) (A. Lizana – E. Solla)
- Silencio de cristal (5:43) (Crystal Silence, vocal version / Chick Corea) (Spanish lyrics by A. Lizana)
- Hurry (3:59)
- Una realidad diferente (4:37) (A. Lizana)
- El otro mar (5:01) (E. Solla)
Emilio Solla – piano
Antonio Lizana – vocals & saxophones
Jorge Roeder – double bass
Ferenc Nemeth – drums & percussion
Roxana Amed – vocals (6)
Javier Weintraub – violin I (2, 6)
Cecilia García – violin II (2, 6)
Javier Portero – viola (2, 6)
Patricio Villarejo – cello (2, 6)