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Not many saxophonists devote themselves exclusively to the soprano. So, the arrival of a “new kid on the block” always puts our ears on alert.

And on this, his first album under his own name, Hugo Diaz pleasantly surprises us, all the more so as his repertoire consists – apart from one theme signed by his pianist and a song by Gabriel Kahane – of pieces from his own pen.

From the outset, Diaz asserts himself as a strong personality, both in his choice of instrument and in the aesthetics he displays. Classically trained, Diaz possesses a beautiful sound – at times fragile, at others more assertive – and a phrasing of great elegance and remarkable fluidity, at the service of a lyricism that is unrestrained.

His great concern for melody means that most of his themes tell a story, while others are marked by a more abstract approach in which improvisation is given greater prominence. Accompanied by partners who are familiar to him, the saxophonist takes us on a journey through a varied soundscape, alternating between softly tender tracks and more pugnacious, energetic or playful themes.

In all these contexts, we’re dealing with a tight-knit group working together to develop a vision of jazz that’s both contemporary and faithful to tradition, with each member possessing a distinct identity that contributes amply to the group’s wholly original sound. A great success!

Line Up:

Hugo Diaz: soprano saxophone

Alexandre Cahen: piano

Vladimir Torres: doublebass

 Louis Cahen: drums 

Confluences was released by the label L’Horizon Violet, on May 3, 2024. It is “In Selection” on Couleurs Jazz Radio, since this date.

© Photo Header JH Bertrand

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