Variaciones is a work where contemporary jazz mixes in a unique and peculiar way with the personal influences of Subatin. The interesting sound aesthetics presented - above all the fusion with Latin American rhythms - is unusual in the national panorama, being, therefore, a refreshing element that Subatin uses skillfully and successfully. In addition, the quintet's interpretations are exceptional, as one would expect from the fantastic range of musicians that comprise it. It is also worth mentioning the notable evolution in compositional terms that Subatin demonstrates in relation to Autotelic, something that piques our curiosity to listen to new works by the musician.
As architecturally sound essays conceived with synergy, discipline and creativity, these variations look to connect the dots between different styles and techniques by relying on a refined sonic palate.
Subatin has here a compositionally strong work.
Improvisación, jazz ortodoxo, jazz contemporáneo, música clásica, pinceladas flamencas, de pop, todo esto y más, converge en este disco.
Su música nos mueve por senderos en ocasiones intensos, en otros momentos rítmicos y otros llenos de lirismo, pero siempre sorpresivos.
Improvisation, orthodox jazz, contemporary jazz, classical music, flamenco touches, pop, all this and more, converge on this album.
His music moves us along paths at times intense, at other rhythmic moments and others full of lyricism, but always surprising.
When Argentinian guitarist Javier Subatin released his album Autotelic (Sintoma, 2018), it was a refreshing examination of form that took its point of departure in the intimate interplay between guitar and piano, occasionally enhanced by drums, bass and saxophone. It was a concept that did Subatin's complex compositions justice as he managed to find the right balance between insistent energy and a dwelling sense of space.
However, it might be wrong to say that Subatin himself found the balance, because the concept behind Autotelic was actually to let the music take control and let it move in any possible direction. This concept of musical intention is once again followed on Variaciones, with the quintet as a musical template. It is a move that was foreshadowed on Autotelic, but now it comes into full fruition.
Between evanescent convolutions and sustained rhythmic moments, the music produced by Javier Subatin and his acolytes has, from certain angles, a propensity for dreamlike, even esotericism, as it is capable of evoking spaces within which the melody s' vanishes in a wider instrumental continuity. It is very well done, rich in discoveries, in complexity, but never boring because always carried a fresh breath.
When we focus our attention on a particular line of development, we realize that there are another one, or others, going on below, or to the side. We can choose the one or more that we want, as well as check how the whole of the authentic “puzzles” that are being assembled works, and each hearing of this “Variaciones” allow us different enjoyments - hence, we suppose, the title of the disco. From all this structural and performative complexity emanates an appearance of narrative, of flow, which baffles and intrigues us, so simple and direct does it result. A song that is frankly difficult is heard as if it were an easy thing, and if in it all the codes of "mainstream" jazz are respected, they come up with treatments that would be more expected in the "avant-garde" trends of the genre. What a nice surprise.
"Variaciones is the gathering of technique with melodic integrity and sophistication. It begins simple and then blossoms into the infinite possibilities that exist in musical creation with the fluidity of jazz aligned to the structural temperance of classical music; the laid back latin rhythms and the unpredictable and surprising factor of improvisation. It's a fusion that works perfectly and makes Variaciones an album that surprises us at each second and despite being "delirious"; does not fall into an exasperating and austere chaos"
"... a melodic narrative where the music flows like a kite in the air, carried by its own will, and yet in the safe hands of the musicians who give the music the greatest trust: to let go and play without a reel."
"Javier Subatin, jeune trentenaire, nous était il y a peu inconnu et nous sommes contents de l’avoir découvert. Ce disque essentiellement en duo, mais avec quelques invités au gré des plages, est un bel exemple de jazz actuel finement ciselé et mélodique à souhait."
La esmerada propuesta estética pergeñada por Javier Subatin en Autotelic, su debut discográfico, está destinada a explorar un punto imaginario de intersección en donde convergen la improvisación contemporánea, el material compuesto, el vasto lenguaje del jazz e influencias de la música latinoamericana ancladas en el ideario formativo del compositor.
"Quando uma música reivindica como único propósito a sua própria exploração, escolhendo o seu autor para ela um nome vindo do Grego antigo como “Autotelic” para sublinhar que o seu fim está nela própria e não numa qualquer razão de ser que a transcenda, parece abusivo tecer quaisquer considerações sobre a mesma – qualquer frase que se escreva a propósito é, de algum modo, sair dela, mesmo que não faça mais do que procurar entendê-la, explicando-a para os outros."
A Forma do Jazz
"Neste disco “Autotelic” Subatin faz questão de assinar a composição de todos os oito temas. O diálogo entre guitarra e piano está no centro desta música, a guitarra eléctrica de Subatin comunica com o piano de Esteves da Silva e o disco é deles, vive desse contínuo diálogo, dessa interação permanente. Pontualmente, Lázaro contribui com o seu saxofone criativo e Rosinha e Alexandre apoiam a base rítmica."
autotelic release concert radio transmition
Recorded live on May 23, 2018 at the Hot Clube de Portugal, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of this institution.
Javier Subatin: A composição é a minha finalidade
Javier Subatin nasceu em Buenos Aires, viveu em Paris e descobriu Lisboa durante um festival de música. Hoje, o guitarrista e compositor de jazz contemporâneo mora na capital portuguesa. É também investigador e analisa o tema da criatividade durante o processo de criação musical, tendo já entrevistado compositores de jazz contemporâneos como Carla Bley, David Liebman e Roberto Bonati.
[Interview on minute 1:25:00]
A new CD is in the works from Argentinian guitar player Javier Subatin and it’s dreamy. Not in the pop culture way. In “Solo” (from the upcoming CD “Autotelic”), there comes from the piano a sensation of running up and down hills, exploring, turning rocks over, maybe; Javier’s stringwork complements this with noodlings, small expressions and micro-melodies on the fret board. It’s a lot like parallel play with delightful intersections of unity before each musician resumes and goes off anew over the knolls.