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Focusyear Band – Arms Open (2020) [Official Digital Download 24bit/48kHz]

Focusyear Band – Arms Open (2020)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 01:10:08 minutes | 827 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front Cover | © Neuklang

Charley Rose and Devin Daniels are saxophonists from France and the USA, born in 1985 and 1997. Rose studied with a broad musical interest in Amsterdam, Daniels studied at Berklee College in Boston and soon played with renowned jazz greats. The trumpeter Òscar Latorre was born in Catalonia in 1995 and released his first album as leader in 2017. Israeli trombonist Yossi Itskovich, born in 1970 and with a master’s degree from the Juillard School in New York, began playing jazz in 2006. Guitarist Fabio Gouvea, born in 1979, is Brazilian, won the Latin Grammy in 2018 as “best jazz album” with Hermeto Pascoal & Big Band and on the second album – with Pascoal as a guest – he is part of the band of 32-year-old compatriot and drummer Paulo Almeida. In 1992 in Boston the bassist Sebastián de Urquiza was born. He came to Argentina early, studied with Guillermo Klein and later in Los Angeles at the “Thelonius Monk Institute of Jazz Performance”. In 2002 and at the age of twelve, Jean-Lou Treboux, a Swiss living in Barcelona, switched from drums to vibraphone, which he studied in Lausanne before moving to New York.

These eight musicians, selected from dozens of worldwide applications, were brought together as a band at the Jazzcampus of the Basel Music Academy in September 2019 to form Focusyear and start a one-year musical adventure together. The Focusyear, led by Wolfgang Muthspiel and Sarah Chaksad, is an excellence scholarship with the aim of providing decisive support to extraordinary musicians in their development. Every second week the band receives top-class visitors, with whom they rehearse a full evening program and bring it on stage for an enthusiastic audience. Jorge Rossy, Anat Cohen, Kurt Rosenwinkel, Malcolm Braff, Ingrid Jensen, Guillermo Klein, Ralph Alessi, Kendrick Scott and Wolfgang Muthspiel took over as coaches of the band until the outbreak of the Corona Pandemic.

It is again a significant one, the Focusyear Band of the 2020 edition, the third of this program, for which a vibraphonist was also able to qualify. It’s the sound of his nimble and precisely played instrument that, along with the two excellent, wonderfully complementary saxophonists, makes up the rich sound of the band – which doesn’t mean that the others have less weight. In fact, every single musician in this ensemble speaks with a distinctive, independent voice. How nice that from these individual sounds you can also hear the musical cultures they come from.

At the beginning of 2020, the Focusyear Band 2020 went into the campus studio and recorded music from all band members, supervised by Guillermo Klein, who had worked on the songs with her and who is also playing piano in the first track. How much the eight individualists have grown together as a band and what a convincing common spirit they have developed in the process is now demonstrated in a highly enjoyable way by their album “open arms”, finely produced by Wolfgang Muthspiel and equally finely recorded and mixed by Roland Baumann. Despite all the differences between the eight characters and their compositions, we hear an amazingly homogeneous sound and musicians, each in their own way, with extremely inspired solos, forming the album’s amalgam.


01. Sweet Suite (8:49)
02. Basel (6:56)
03. Arrasa Y Se Và (6:57)
04. Arms Open (6:48)
05. Imagine Yourself (7:37)
06. Incerteza (8:19)
07. Particle (6:39)
08. Ip (5:57)
09. The End of a Descent (7:38)
10. All Too Late (4:34)


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