TUMULT.FM – Gent Jazz Fest. 2018
July 29, 2018
Tumult.fm – Gent Jazz 05/07
Who? Sal La Rocca on the double bass with Jeroen van Herzeele (saxophone), Lieven Venken (drums) & Pascal Mohy (piano) from Belgium.
Why? Because Sal La Rocca is without a doubt one of Belgium’s best contrabass players and therefore also the most requested. His music is liberating and ventures into free jazz without losing his groove. The spirit of Coltrane is omnipresent in La Rocca’s oeuvre.
How do you know him? As bass player of the pop rock group Vaya Con Dios, with whom he went on European and world tours from 2007 onwards. He also played side by side with, among others, Toots Thielemans, Steve Grossman, Lee Konitz and Sheila Jordan.
The Bassist Sal La Rocca takes us into a personal world of modern jazz. He collaborates with a guitarist with an approach to the instrument that combines energy, rock sounds and jazz improvisations. The top-flight musicians in this group take us on a journey of harmony and rhythm in perfect balance. Their music is light and blends the past and the present. There’s swing, groove, strength and tenderness.
(…) I like Sal’s composing; it give the other musicians some great moments to work on and show what they can do without being over stated. On the IGLOO Label this is well deserved 5 star album.” – Brian Soundy (UK Jazz Radio & the Jazz Critic)
“Northern Europe boasts many excellent players, so it’s no surprise to find a quintet this good from the buttoned-up city of Brussels. It’s led by a resonant double bassist, a gifted composer who has a distinctive and hypermodern touch. Two Belgians, guitarist Lorenzo di Maio and pianist Pascal Mohy, contribute elegant solos, but the star turn is really Jacques Schwartz-Bart, a world-class tenorist from Guadeloupe who has toured with US trumpeter Roy Hargrove a few years back. His serpentine lines are always a pleasure to follow but it’s La Rocca’s simple-sounding yet artfully harmonised themes that make this album special. The only standard here is Crescent, a John Coltrane lament that inspires solos worthy of its composer.” JACK MASSARIK (London Evening Standard) – CDs of the week: It Could Be the End