April 18, 2018
Cóncavo y Convexo
A jazz cosmopolitan introducing the third album with his band, The Compañía Eléctrica. We have interviewed Pablo Basez during Cóncavo y Convexo presentation tour.
> Luigi Motta
Starting from its bizarre title, Cóncavo y Convexo presents new paths, not only related to jazz…
Exactly. I think that this game of complementary opposites is the starting point in order to contextualize these tracks. There’s some soul, some rock, some funk, some swing. Cóncavo y Convexo is an album designed according to the guiding lines we agreed on with the musicians since the beginning, a more conceptual album. It’s been a process that not only concerned sound aspects, but also visuals, such as videoclips, graphics, flyers and website. A unique whole.
Why did you choose other instruments in comparison to your previous works?
We wanted to go back to the music we grew up with, and to catch that energy. The rock and all its variations. We wanted to catch the potential that an electrical instrument is able to offer, starting from a clean sound. For instance, using the Fender Rhodes could connect us directly to the period we wanted to refer to. The electric bass, in order to work on more remarked lines and, at the same time, to put the instrument in a soloist role, thanks to the effects.
Naturally, these elements totally rethink the melody work, as far as saxophone and electric guitar are concerned, when we start working on two vocals arrangements from this point of view. Drums as well are put on another level, for more linear structures, but at the frontline by the point of view of sound. In the other albums Nius On and Others, even if the compositions were originals, the arrangements were connected to that instrumentation, which is almost unavoidable in jazz, made of drums, double bass, piano, guitar and saxophone, and that’s why we were closer to that musical genre having afro origins, different from this new CD.
Can you introduce your band, the Compañía Eléctrica?
The group features great musicians, but more than anything, very good friends and very good persons. Martin López Grande, drums and composition, Gonzalo Rodriguez Vicente, tenor saxophone and composition, Noel Morroni, who plays piano and Fender Rhodes and composes as well, and eventually, me on electric bass and composition. We like to add to the group a musician we consider as an integrating part of it, who already played guitar in the previous works – Rodrigo Agudelo – who also artistically produced this new album together with me.
In your opinion, people listening to your music understand that you are Argentinian or do you feel more cosmopolite?
I totally agree with this vision of the world. I feel cosmopolite. My opinion on this is, even if music is universal, there are some idiosyncrasies taking you towards certain places or areas you belong to. I say this starting from the composition, where you imagine to mix forms or folk rituals. Sometimes this happens intentionally, some others it emerges from the way of interpretation. We don’t limit ourselves as far as the interpretation aspect is concerned. For sure, the way of playing in this record does not tell the country we belong to.
What do you think of the musical opportunities offered by the web? Are they a challenge or a curse?
This is a very good and interesting question: of course it is a challenge. And it’s good that it’s like that. Networks are nowadays the real communication medium. I say so by thinking that maybe they connect us only virtually, but at the same time they can move us from the possibility of choosing to watch a show in streaming or to actually watch it. They are two different energies. It’s the consumer who chooses. That’s exactly were I think the challenge is, speaking of why we use it. I use it as an advertising mechanism and a media display of may art, but I always remark, during my performances, that the truth is in “live” only. To watch and listen to the group on stage. In my opinion, the communion between audience and artist generates something which can’t be replaced. It’s something magic!
Which dates are scheduled for the presentation tour? And which are your future plans?
At the moment, we are operating at regional and local level (Argentina and South America), even if we are opening soon to exchanges with other parts of the world. The record is already going around. From the trench of self-management. This gives us a certain freedom and induces an even bigger team work. We are at the same time the managers, the press agents, and the musicians. We have a group formed by very valid persons on all fronts: audio, image, press, but the last word is always ours. We intend to travel to Italy and to this aim it will be necessary to look for connections through embassies and Foreign Affairs Ministries, with the respective bilateral agreements. In my case, I am an Italian citizen and I would like to travel, for both introducing our work and visiting my father’s and my ancestors’ land. In the meantime, we are working in order to make this happen. In November, we participated to the Festival Internacional de Chile, Mapocho Jazz, and that was one of the main targets we give to ourselves for the future at an international level. And this is only the beginning…
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