Trumpeter Eduardo Blanco was born in Spain. He studied jazz in the US at Berklee and later taught music in Barcelona. He’s lived in Holland for several years now where he’s an in-demand session player.
The title of the album is Spanish for Inside A Dream. It’s the band’s follow-up CD to Childhood Memories, International Quartet Volume One recorded in 2017. Five of the nine numbers on Dentro De Un Sueño are originals penned by Blanco and one is co-written with his Dutch drummer Rene de Hilster. The songs Sunshower and Joanne Julia were composed by Kenny Barron and The Very Thought Of You by Ray Noble. The band’s Belgian bass player, Jean-Louis Rassinfosse, is well known on the European scene, playing and recording with Chet Baker for nigh on a decade. The band’s pianist, Dirk Balthaus, is German.
Blanco describes the band’s music as early bebop and says it’s in tribute to his musical heroes of the 1940s and 50s. He believes a good jazz band should play with intensity but without the use of excessive volume. This is a reasonably accurate description of the album – it’s a fairly quietish affair. Most numbers are taken at a slow to medium pace and the overall effect is relaxed if not a little soporific if you should happen to listen to the album in one sitting.
The tracks that stand out are A Monkish Tune – one of the more jaunty numbers on the album – with intricate trumpet soloing from Blanco, Monkish piano of course, a walking bass and de Hilster displaying his Billy Higgins credentials. Also, Blue Friday with Blanco’s sparse and muted trumpet and a soft, foot tapping, rhythmic backdrop. Sunshower has wistful trumpet, gentle piano and thoughtful bass soloing but due to its slow tempo it doesn’t really compare with Ron Carter’s quintet rendition on the Piccolo album and seems laboured in comparison with, say, Stan Getz’s sprightly 1989 version.
Whilst all the musicians in Blanco’s quartet are undoubtedly proficient and they clearly enjoy what they’re doing, the occasional zip added to the overall delivery wouldn’t go amiss.
Dreamy Landscape; A Monkish Tune; Dentro De Un Sueno; Sunshower; Blue Friday; The Very Thought Of You; Mr Freek; Honeymoon In Brussels; Joanne Julia (58.06)
Blanco (t); Dirk Balthaus (p); Jean-Louis Rassinfosse (b) Rene de Hilster (d). The Hague, 18, 19 September 2019.
House Of Freek 1901