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The pianist Dorantes and the French double-bass player Renaud García-Fons gave us a fusion of southern Spanish spirit and a high level of musical ability in which the mixture of “rondeñas”, “soleás” o “garrotín” with jazz and classical music touches ended up in an amazing instrumental and voice concert.

Dorantes returning to San Javier with his new project “Paseo A Dos”.

To begin with, I will confess you I was really glad when the program of the 19th Jazz San Javier was presented and I read the Spanish pianist Dorantes returned to scene. We should look for the reason in his first visit about four years ago in the 15th edition of Jazz San Javier. I remember that night of the 21st of July because I have never listened such a lively, free and versatile piano like the one David Peña Dorantes played before. He had predecessors, like the Master Arturo Pavón –the one who laid down and dignified the gipsies’ flamenco and rose it to a higher category; his piece has been studied by these following generations- or Felipe Campuzano, one of this following generations after Pavón. However, I didn’t notice or detected the same I did in Dorantes, who has been follower of Pavón as many others – or they have studied Pavón’s pieces in order to develop their own style. The result of Dorantes’ second visit was chilling, magical and original.

The first time I saw and listened to a live Dorantes’ concert I got greatly impressed. His chilling ductility to create music leaves you with and impression which makes you think playing like him is easy and, minutes later, you realize how poor is your ability to achieve what Dorantes achieves with the piano. Tons of notes emerge from his hands, going fast across the 88 keys of his piano. As I said, he has a free mind with room for all the styles and tendencies we can match with flamenco, and vice versa. That is the reason why his music can’t really be catalogued as jazz or flamenco at all.

And he is taking his instrument to a different level, out of reach until now, as Paco de Lucía did with his guitar.

Dorantes is passion and intelligence, freedom and versatility. Musical ideas came from him in a natural way, with no restriction but slowly in order, giving us a great, powerful and innovative result. The first proof of what I say came to us through “La promesa del alba”, a kind of rondeñas in which the pianist and his travel partner in “Paseo a Dos”, the double-bass player, join together a pair of instruments that makes each other shine with inner light. I have never seen a double-bass player use the arc the way García-Fons did before that night. With that first piece he left us wordless, as we were watching and listening him to evolve, sliding the arc over the five thick strings of his double bass, apparently very easily.

Besides, Renaud García-Pons performs with a five string double bass, when normally it is used a four string double bass. He is an open musician, and as some double-bass players who were in the concert let me know, he has a simply desirable technique. This technique involves a lot of hours and years of study and practice, until the sound in the musician’s mind is found. Therefore, two singularities like them joined had to end up by giving a very positive and clear result as the one listened and watched last Saturday night, 23th July, in the Jazz San Javier auditorium..

After the “rondeña”, they “attacked” with “Molto enrollado”, another piece of their new album, where we could still appreciate through “bulerías” how two musical explorers have arrived where no one did before. Flamenco is the base but not the only style found in these creations, in which each of them puts his own knowledge and researches about their instruments. Dorantes strums the arc of strings with the right hand while he performs with the left one the chords which define the piece’s direction. And García-Fons performs with his double bass as if it was a violin. It is a simple wonder that went on during the returning concert of Dorantes and his travel partners who he considers like a family.

The technique performed by the French musician (with Spanish roots) left us absolutely impressed and concentrated in his evolutions. We have never seen something like that in the last 19 years of festival. I remember now the whale’s song the Cuban double-bass player and member of the Tingvall Trío, Omar Rodríguez Calvo, imitated- but it was only some passages performed in some pieces. García-Fons uses the arc as he normally does, he has specialized himself in this technique which he performs with his five string double bass, making his instruments an accompaniment for the soloist.

When we arrived to this part of the concert, Dorantes performs a piece called “Ante el espejo”, which is a piano solo, from his album “Sin Muros”, released in 2012, in his previous visit to Jazz San Javier, when his wide musical vision, his control and his performing agility with the piano was reaffirmed. It was too moving and rewarded for an audience used to listen to virtuous artists. The auditorium stood up and clapped his perform.

A young drummer and percussionist from Puerto de Santa María (Cádiz) performed neatly three pieces with extraordinary mastery. “Bulerías” like “Sin muros ni candados” lead the way to an improvised torrent with jazz touches like “Barrio Latino”, from Dorantes, where we are placed in the Latin environment of the Caribbean music with these touches of Latin jazz. The final touch for a concert that left the audience absolutely impressed and devoted to the great intellect and creative explosion of these four musicians, leading this time by the pianist David Peña Dorantes and the French double-bass player Renaud García-Fons. The audience wanted more and they gave it another piece from the album “Sur”, by Dorantes, called “Caravana de los Zincali”, ending that wonderful concert with a wonderful end.

Asociacion nacional de Periodistas    Andrés Garrido Lozano: critico de musica    24/11/2016