Mérida Encuentro: Merida Swings

by Blaise Siwula

Released 2013
Released 2013
Recorded live in Mérida, MX this is a cd of spontaneously composed music offering a unique listen to the underground and innovative music in Mérida that swings in 7 parts.
Mérida Encuentro - "Mérida Swings" is an extension of "New York Encuentro" (also on cdbaby). This recording is the culmination of a series of concerts and sessions in Mérida MX over the past 3 years. The cover photo is from the show that Blaise Siwula and Armando Martin did in Merida Sept. 2010 organized by Gerardo Alejos Victoria. Saxophonist Blaise Siwula has been active in the NY downtown scene for the past 25 years and is now dividing his time between Brooklyn and Merida. Armando Martin, Edgar Caamal and Alvar Canto Torres are native residents of Merida and perform primarily in Mexico. This music combines a variety of influences from 1930's jazz to 20th Century New Music to Free Jazz to Psychedelic Rock.
Blaise Siwula clarinet & alto saxophone, Armando Martin acoustic and electric guitar, Edgar Caamal drums and percussion and Alvar Canto Torres stepped with his electric guitar on track 7. The titles are in Spanish with an English translation. Our hope is that you'll enjoy the music from both languages as one music of life.
Mérida Encuentro - "Mérida Columpios" es una extensión de la "Nueva York Encuentro" (también en cdbaby). Esta grabación es la culminación de una serie de conciertos y sesiones en Mérida MX en los últimos 3 años. La foto de la portada es de un espectáculo con el que Blaise Siwula y Armando Martin hizo en Mérida 2010 Sept organizado por Gerardo Alejos Victoria. El saxofonista Blaise Siwula ha participado activamente en la escena NY el centro durante los últimos 25 años y es ahora divide su tiempo entre Brooklyn y Mérida.
Armando Martín, Edgar Caamal y Alvar Canto Torres son nativos residentes de Mérida y realizar principalmente en México. Esta música combina una variedad de influencias que van desde el jazz hasta 1930 Siglo 20 nueva música de Free Jazz de Rock psicodélico. Blaise Siwula clarinete y saxofón alto, Armando Martin acústico y guitarra eléctrica, Edgar Caamal batería y percusión y Alvar Canto Torres escalonadas con su guitarra eléctrica en la vía 7. Los títulos están en español con una traducción al inglés.Nuestra esperanza es que usted disfrutará de la música de ambos idiomas como una música de la vida.

Feb 28th, 2014 CD Review by Gregory Applegate Edwards:
Blaise Siwula, reed master of free music. . . we've usually associated
him with New York City in years past. He has however been spending some
time down in Merida, Mexico and has hooked up with some good players
there. /Merida Encuentro/ (nfm 004) gives us a CD of free encounters of
the ear-enriching kind, a rewarding result of the confluence of new and
culturally diverse combinations that can happen when everybody opens up
and listens.

The first several cuts feature Blaise on clarinet and alto and Armando
Martin on acoustic guitar. "Para Django" starts things off with a kind
of swing extension of outness, of course paying tribute to Django
Reinhardt in the process. More abstracted duets follow, with "Sin
Tiempo" giving us a first climax via prepared and unprepared guitar that
goes from Bailey-esque flights to Latin classical to jazz chording to
sung-played expressive lining while Blaise makes a cohesive statement on

Armando switches to electric guitar for "Disenos" and drummer Edgar
Caamal joins the group to make it a trio for the rest of the set. The
dynamic remains free and open form. Edgar's brushed drums make us feel a
little more like we are back in New York, but Armando on electric
quickly turns up and gets us into a more watted avant abstraction that
has an exploded free-rock feel as Edgar switches to sticks. Blaise turns
up the intensity on alto and gets the max out of the two-lined
simultaneous soloing.

The mood continues with Armando back on acoustic and Blaise catching
alto fire. A longer, softer "Suave" brings back clarinet, brushes and
acoustic for what starts out as a kind of free ballad with a lazy
bluesiness in there as Blaise channels some tradition into his own world
with smooth ease but pointed strength. It comes to climax, then gets
quiet and moody again.

The finale, "Fuera", substitutes Alvar Canto Torres on electric guitar.
He is more into a metallic, psychedelic, high-voltage sound with guitar
feedback, power drones and edgy lines that give Blaise something else to
work against. Blaise glides and slithers along with it while Edgar
continues free drum barrages but also interjects intermittent pauses to
change the texture of the momentum.

In the end we get another way free can roll. Blaise is in great form and
his fellow travellers add dimensions and dynamics that keep it all
interesting. This is a successful first outing with lots of modes and
moods. I look forward to what else they will do in future.

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