Exotic steamroller jazz with Spanish flavour

The annual Erasmus Jazz Prize is a good yardstick for budding jazz talent. A resident of Rotterdam, the Spanish saxophonist/composer Alba Gil Aceytuno (1997) rose to prominence two years ago when Amaguk (lead by Daniel Denis) reached the final of this prestigious prize. Though Amaguk didn’t win on that occasion, Alba (and the band) did announce her arrival with her exquisite playing and energetic performance. Each year, Jazz International Rotterdam offers an exceptional jazz talent an opportunity to put together their own ‘dream band’ and perform new work of their own making. This initiative is called The Pack. The honour this year falls to Alba. With her merry band of brothers and sisters, Alba is presenting The Pack Project premiere at RAUW.

For the occasion, Alba has put together a special septet with no fewer than two drummers. Drop any preconceptions you might be harbouring immediately, for this new set packed with new music bursts and blasts, rolls and heaves, like an oil tanker on the waves. While its roots lie in modern jazz and improvisation, its influences range from punk rock to classical, with a heavy helping of African and Canarian folklore also thrown in. Expect plenty of energy, Spanish passion and Rotterdam directness from a band that brings the roof down.