Guillermo Klein & Big Van | El Minotauro

Guillermo Klein & Big Van El Minotauro
[ Candid CCD 79706]

Richard Nant, Juan Cruz De Urquiza,
John Walsh and David Boato - Trumpets
Mark Turner - Soprano and Tenor Saxophone
Chris Cheek - Soprano and Tenor Saxophone
Dave Barraza - Clarinet and Tenor Saxophone
Dan Bosshardt - Bass Clarinet, Flute, Baritone Saxophone
Sandro Tomasi, Masa Ikeda, Matt Pavolka - Trombones
Sten Hostfalt - Guitar
Aaron Goldberg - Piano
Johannes Weidenmueller - Acoustic Bass
Marc Miralta - Drums
Sophie Duner - voice
Guillermo Klein - Arranger, Composer, Conductor,
Editing, Producer, Primary Artist.

All Music Composed and arranged by Guillermo Klein
Recorded at Mastersound Astoria NY December 17, 1994.
Engineered by Ben Rizzi. Produced by Alan Bates.
Liner Notes by George Garzone
Cover Art by Malcolm Walker.
Photo by Tomi Yum.


Mike Quinn 2002
- " Guillermo Klein assembled
a 17-piece big band that became semi-legendary
in it's stints at Smalls and the Jazz Standard "

All Music Guide

CD REVIEW David R. Adler 1998
" This album, inexplicably out of print, documents one
of the earliest incarnations of Guillermo Klein's big band.
Called Big Van, the ensemble had pianist Aaron Goldberg,
bassist Johannes Weidenmueller, and drummer Marc
Miralta in the rhythm section; Chris Cheek and Mark
Turner, Matt Hong, Dave Barraza, and Dan Bosshardt
on saxophones; Richard Nant, John Walsh, Juan Cruz de
Urquiza, and David Boato on trumpets; Sandro Tomasi,
Masa Ikeda, and Sir Matt Pavolka on trombones; and
Sten Hostfält on guitar. Klein wrote, arranged, and
conducted the album's eight powerful tracks. Blending
the sounds of his native Argentina with a cutting-edge
harmonic and orchestrational sophistication, Klein guides
you through a wide swath of musical territory: the bright
Latin jazz of "El Minotauro" and "Free"; the darker,
majestic sounds of "Primer Tango" and "Lo Perdido"
(the latter featuring an intense Spanish vocal
performance by Sophie Durer); the impressionistic
portraits "La Manzana de Las Luces" and "Abismo";
and the retro jazz/funk grooves of "La Madre de Mi
Hermana" and "Technicolor." Klein's mastery of timbral
variation and subtle dynamics makes the album a lasting
pleasure. The band's brilliant soloists heighten the impact
of Klein's writing all the more. And the strategic use of
quirky voice-overs and signal processing gives the album
an added punch. Along with figures such as Maria
Schneider and Jason Lindner, Guillermo Klein is helping
give rise to a new era in big-band composition ".

Big Van en la Argentina

dirigada por Guillermo Klein

Saxos: Matt Hong, Chris Cheek, Seamus Blake,
Victor Scorupsky
Trompetas : Richard Nant, Diego Urcola,
Juan Cruz de Urquiza Trombones : Sandro Tomasi,
Matt Pavolka, Masa Ikeda. Sección ritmica : Sten Hostfalt,
Aaron Johannes Weidenmueller, Marc Miralta, Jeff Ballard.

" La ¨Big Van¨ es una orquestra de 16 músicos
que naciò a fines del '92 en Boston, cuando estudiaba
en Berklee. Empezamos tocando los proyectos que
componía para la escuela. Rápidamente me identifiqué
con músicos como Richard Nant, Sandro Tomasi,
Juan Cruz de Urquiza, etc. y mi música tomó un
rumbo más personal. Después de algunos recitalesen
Berklee, decidimos salir a tocar en los clubs de jazz.
Al principo no fue fácil, pero tuve la suerte de estar
avalado por Herb Pomeroy y por los músicos de la
orquestra, que en ese momento eran de los más
interesantes en Boston. La respuesta de la gente y
de los medios fue siempre muy estimulante, cosa que
nos dió la oportunidad de tocar regularmente y seguir
evolucionando. En el '94 me mudé a Nueva York con
la idea de conectarme con algunos de mis músicos
favoritos que estaban en la misma búsqueda que yo
y también con el deseo de establecer la "Big Van"
en la gran "Manzana", capital del jazz. En
diciembre último, grabamos un CD con el sello
"Beat Records", y después de tocar en varios clubs,
estacionamos en "Smalls", un club de jazz situado
en el Village, donde tocan muchos músicos de
vanguardia y donde nosotros tenemos un
ciclo todos los domingos." - Guillermo Klein

The New York Times
by Peter Watrous


" Many sources for an Argentine composer ;
Guillermo Klein, a young Argentine composer
who is leading a big band at Smalls every Sunday
this month can be abrupt. His show this week opened
with one large brusque chord that immediately died,
leaving silence. Sudden riffs burst from nowhere.
What had been background noise emerged as the
beginning of an electronically
distorted saxophone
solo. Mr. Klein's orchestra, which draws from the
cliched music written for 1960's television and movies,
from Steve Reich-style Minimalism, from polychordal
harmony and occasionally from mainstream jazz, is
unlike any other
working in New York. There are jokes
in the music as well. At the end of one piece, Mr. Klein
played two corny organ chords making explicit the tunes'
connections to a 1960's style. The music owes something
to the electronic experiments of 60's rock-jazz, with the
horn soloists playing through amplification. Mr. Klein
manages to make it allsound sincere. The authoritative
way Mr. Klein called riffs was percussive as well, as he
were wrenching them from the band. And he fooled with
tempos keeping the rhythm section working at one speed,
while slowing or speeding up the riffs. When Mr. Klein
returns to Argentina in a few months he will take one of
the better continuing experiments in New York with him.

CD Liner Notes by George Garzone :
Guillermo Klein's BIG VAN-EL MINOTAURO

" . . The band continued to rehearse and in
summer of '95 played every Sunday at
Smalls Jazz Club in Greenwich Village, New York.
Hearing the band was an uplifting experience as
saxophonist George Garzone Recounts :
" I first heard Guillermo's big band
in the
fall of 1995 at Small's Jazz
Club in New York City.
Guillermo's writing
struck me as truly singular
with cluster voicings passing in and out of each
in a surprising yet fluid manner. Within
every voicing each line had a discreet
and when layered on top of one another they
created a unique effect and added a smooth
harmonic flow to the music. Guillermo's
compositions are romantic, dramatic
and passionate. His Argentinian roots lends his
music a character and a rhythmic feel that,
coupled with his harmonic and melodic ideas
create a totally new and whole expression.
Big Van includes musicians such as Juan
Cruz de Urquiza, Chris
Cheek, Mark Turner
and Marc Miralta to name a precious few.
These young players provide Guillermo with
the chops, interpretive creativity and
enthusiasm he needs to articulate his music.
The freshness of their improvisations only
strengthen his vision. While many younger
musicians and improvised music as a whole
searches for new directions,
demonstrates a command over the forces
necessary to create his own directing,
harmony, melody, feel and a reverance
for the music we play."

Jazz Times
CD REVIEW 1998 by Marcela Breton

" Klein's band, Big Van, includes
four trumpeters,
three trombonists, five saxophonists, a
plus the standard rhythm section. Klein composed,
arranged and conducted this ambitious and energetic
music. "Abismo" is inspired by Poe's "Descent into
the Maelstrom". The title cut and "La Manzana de
las Luces" have stately openings that lead into
the frenzied, passionate sound of the big band.
"Primer Tango" points to Klein's Argentine roots.
Klein's music is interesting and finely executed. "


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