Lluis Coloma & His Musical Troupe: Trip To Everywhere

The Barcelona-born pianist leads his large local combo in a vivacious, mostly uptempo set focused on blues and boogie-woogie

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Unless you’ve been to Spain or France you may not have come across the proficient and exciting playing of pianist Lluis Coloma and if you have a liking for blues and boogie-woogie, then this is a good introduction to his music.

It’s primarily a vehicle for Coloma, who belts out his fast-paced solos with support from his Musical Troupe – a tightly organised band full of brass riffs and forceful rhythm. It’s infectious and lively, and as the sleeve note says, danceable, although you may have to be fit to keep up with the tempos.

Coloma solos on all the tracks, but guitarist Balta Bordoy gets a look in on several, including a feature on Balearic Shuffle. The only other soloists are Sax Gordon, with a hard-edged tenor on the title track, and Jaime Stinus, whose twangy guitar gives the Latinish Tijuana Riders a feel of a spaghetti western theme, bandits on the horizon.

It’s mostly uptempo, as if the musicians are in a blinding hurry, but there are slower, or at least medium tempo, numbers: French Raindrops and Medinaceli. Then there’s Libertyville Blues, bassist Manolo Germán joining Bordoy and Coloma’s barrelhouse piano in a fine expressive slow blues.

Strings augment the band on Nashville Suite, a hoedown-inflected piece, and on Fabrice In New York, giving a rich orchestration. Coloma’s brief Hammond solo on the latter lends momentum and the undercurrent of baritone from Jaume Badrenas made me want to hear more from this horn.

Discography
Nuk Orleans; Mishuri; French Raindrops; Trip To Everywhere; Balearic Shuffle; Medinaceli; Tijuana Riders; Nashville Suite; Fabrice In New York; Libertyville Blues; Apocalyptic Boogie (44.43)
Coloma (p, org); Manolo Germán (b); Arnau Julià (d); Balta Bordoy (g); Leo Torres (t); Jordi Prats (as); Marc Sort (ts, f); Jaume Badrenas (bar); Albert Enkaminanko (pc); Elena Rey, Carlos Montfort (vn); Uixi Amargós (vla); Marçal Ayats (clo). Special guests: Jaime Stinus (g); Sax Gordon (ts). Barcelona, December 2021
Blue Moon Records BMCD 2512