Tokian (in place) is an ambitious and courageous album and tricky at the same time. Its silky orchestral wrappings may make us think that it is a kindly ” stylistic exercise “running the risk of staying on the surface without ever delving into its inner depths. Truth is that Tokian and its main author, Bilbao pianist Jerónimo Martín, show their cards from the very beginning without any complex or misleading not trying to transmit a different idea, perhaps more in tune with “current” fashions, trends, and tastes.

Jerónimo has recently related this album to a personal spiritual centering and commitment to oneself process, focusing on his own concerns and artistic visions embracing his own identity, with his greatness and limitations, in order to find, feel and almost touch his most intimate musical impulse. And it is that sincerity that  ends up transcending and elevating the compositions above any regular and misleading appearance. Landscapes in cinemascope wide shots, touching melodies and his jazz, chamber music and unforgettable soundtracks echoes to become a cliché, turning a beautiful melodrama into a trashy TV movie. However, Jerónimo and his band know how to keep a delicate balance on the wire, always touch the right keys to reach those sensitive fibers that awaken our slumbering attention.

Tokian follows after several Jerónimo Martín incursions in free improvisation projects for piano (Capturas, 2015 and Durango Concert, 2020) and “Versos libres “premiere for improvised piano and band in 2021 along Municipal Band of Bilbao.

Engaged in a creative process that began in his previous releases published by Errabal (Piedraescrita, 2006 and Quinoa, 2012), the new album is a project that has
been in the making since 2012, the year Quinoa was recorded, and somehow represents a fulfillment of it, featuring beautiful orchestral arrangements arranged for string sextet, while opening new paths for the future.

Recorded in just two days in February and March 2022 at Elkar Estudioak in Donostia-San Sebastián, and produced by Jerónimo himself, it features a 30-piece line-up,
with the string sextet at its core, joined by the Arteus Orchestra, composed by 23 musicians, led by director Iker Sánchez. Sextet s rhythm section is formed by Jerónimo Martín on piano, the Asturian Alejandro San Pelayo on double bass, plus the young Aitor Bravo from Alava on drums. Brass section features Cuban Jorge Vistel on trumpet, Biscayan Rubén González on tenor saxophone and flute, and Gonzalo Fernández de Larrinoa from Vitoria on trombone.

Seven original pieces written and arranged by the author. Colorful with a wide range of sounds, compositional complexity close to progressive music. But, above all, joyful and courageous. Full of honesty, commitment, and insight. Pure beauty and deep emotion.

Disc Type: CD
Publication date: 2023/02/13
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