Irati Bilbao – Begin

June 27, 2024

Irati Bilbao, the emerging voice of jazz in the Basque Country, is finishing the tour to present her first work, Begin (Errabal Jazz 2020), after the success achieved by critics and the specialized press, as well as by the public, thanks to which she has performed at the best Jazz Festivals and Clubs in the country. The singer from Durango is finishing the long tour to present her first work, a tour that has lasted three years, while she is finalizing the details of the release of her second and long-awaited album, which will be released in the autumn.  (See agenda)

“There are notes between notes, you know …” said Sarah Vaughn. The exact blank space between notes that inhabits the one who sings, thus creating a magical and unrepeatable moment. The mystery that arises every second just to be solved almost in a mysterious and immediate way, making up the best place for a Jazz singer creativity. As Gershwin would define; In a way, life is like jazz … it’s better when you improvise”.

Graduated in Cultural Management and Art History, Irati Bilbao’s musical career would possibly have run in other directions without Musikene, where she developed a solid training, although it is also true this young singer from Durango talent, would hardly have past unnoticed for any music lover, which has led her to combine different projects such as Irati Bilbao Quintet, Ekuru, Bilbao Lindy Band, Reunion Big Band, Sweet Margot, Swingtronix, working as a session singer in studio recordings and joining  Ahots Argiak and The Gospel Six choir. An incipient career that is consolidated on this record.

Recorded at the Mecca Recording Studios in Oiartzun. “Begin” is a impeccable workmanship album , a record  that brings us closer to the delicate, personal and cosmopolitan  jazz vision from a great singer with the undeniable vocal influences from great figures, always backed up by an excellent and experienced band formed by Jorge Fernández on the piano and   No Land trio member, guitarist from Madrid, Eva Alcaide, Carlos Montul on  bass and drummer Aitor Bravo from Alava, remaining an esencial contribution is essential in the development of each of the songs, putting in value Irati Bilbao´s excellent work as  arranger and composer developed on the record.

This record opens with the exquisite and disturbing “Anxious” signed by Irati in contemporary Jazz mood to continue arranging and making his own, from a new perspective “Beatrice” by the North American saxophonist Sam Rivers. The delicious introduction in “The first time I heard Ella / My baby likes the bebop”, the arrangements made by the singer, throughout this particular tribute to Ella Fitzgerald, highlight both singer´s vocal technique  and her dominance of the Scat, as well as band solvency. The magnificent “Stoner Hill” by drummer Brian Blade takes on a new dimension by band’s hand and the text contribution to the song. “I’m Hip” popularized by the singer and pianist Blossom Dearie runs through the swing under the overwhelming scat from Irati. “Hopefully, my prince won´t come”, signed and arranged by herself, puts an end to the record.

Begin” is the place in which Irati Bilbao lives, a set of magical and unrepeatable moments, an invitation to unravel the mystery that underlies between notes, that mystery that arises every second and that only true Jazz singers can clear .


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