ANTARES is propelled by a band that loves merging different musical styles, traditions, and influences from around the world.
Uri Gurvich – Saxophone; Ramiro Olaciregui – Guitar; Marcos Merino – Piano; Kenneth Dahl Knudsen – Double Bass; Rodolfo Zuniga – Drums
The star Antares in the Milky Way galaxy is classified as a red supergiant star. ANTARES is a good title for the World Citizen’s new album. It’s filled with impassioned playing and its members come from all over the world. Saxophonist Uri Gurvich comes from Israel.
Argentina is home to guitarist Ramiro Olaciregui. Pianist Marcos Merino is from Spain. Founding member on bass, Kenneth Dahl Knudsen, is from Denmark. And Costa Rica is home to drummer Rodolfo Zuniga.
In 2011 guitarist Ramiro Olaciregui & bassist Kenneth Dahl Knudsenwere were part of the Berlin jazz scene. They decided they wanted to unite different cultures through music so World Citizen Band was born.
The press release for ANTARES said the music was inspired by McCoy Tyner, Brad Melhdau, and Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. I was worried this might have been just an homage to those jazz icons. I needn’t have. The essence of those greats is here but World Citizen Band is very much their own band with a very modern sound.
The title track ‘Antares ’has a rock funk groove that’s easy to tap your foot to. Uri Gurvich’s alto sax shines throughout. Rodolfo Zuniga on drums pulls things along with some fancy snare work and a lot of rim shots. Marcos Merino has a great piano solo.
It’s a rocking ’rollin ’romp all over the keyboard. Ramiro Olaciregui’s guitar adds some delicate counterpoint that sounds very cool. Jazz is a collaborative endeavor and Kenneth Dahl Knudsen uses his bass to work harmoniously with the rest of the band. There are different styles on ANTARES and Knudsen sounds at home in all of them.
‘CM’s Blues ’is un uptempo bop tune that lets guitarist Olaciregui show his stuff. His single note lines remind me of Wes Montgomery. And like Montgomery his melodic sense and phrasing are phenomenal.
Each band member contributed to the writing. Knudsen’s ‘Day One ’is a jubilant piece with some of saxophonist Gurvich’s best soloing on the album. There’s a bit of Brasil in Olaciregui’s ‘Samba Pra Kuki.’ Merino’s ‘Y Las Palabras ’or, ‘And the Words’, is elegant in a lovely flamenco sort of way.
ANTARES is propelled by a band that loves merging different musical styles, traditions, and influences from around the world. I look forward to more from the multi-talented World Citizen Band.