Lots of motherfuckers, when they imagine jazz, think of “shoo bat-a shoo bop bop!” vocal garbage, or some old smokey room filled with “cool Cuban cats” pulling long cheesy pieces of shit out their collective asshole. But, turn the right corner and you might end up hearing that subtle, powerful, and defiant anger that jazz was -and still is- known for. If you had been stretching your legs on the streets of Zurich on November 26, 2016, you would have heard it; this is a live album after all. But, make no mistake, this isn’t that shit you put on in the background at a wedding or at some rich fuck’s fundraiser to save the fucking dildos from mass fuckery. This music throws light into the dark corners of ourselves that we hold at bay from the rest of the world. It voices the pasty and harrowing shit we hide behind thinly veiled smiles as we desperately try not to scream as we, yet again, take the wobbly-wheeled cart at the grocery store. It isn’t that type of explosive anger that comes with punk or metal. It’s a slowly built dread that accumulates from going to work every day to pay off your car, but only using your car to drive to fucking work. It’s those moments when you think to yourself “If they knew what I was really thinking,” as you stare at some dude with that let-me-talk-to-your-manager demeanour as he holds up the line to talk to some pimpled-faced kid just doing his fucking job about expired coupons. The Aruán Ortiz Trio knows what you were really thinking, and they fucking love it.
This style is called progressive jazz. Ortiz is a Jedi at this shit. What does progressive mean in this context? It means a musician finally stopped giving a fuck. Sometimes the result of this indifference is disastrous, full of squeely-squeels and contemporary artists drinking gin from a hard-soled dress shoe. But, when it comes to Ortiz, it means delving deeper into what music can be and further exploring what human beings really are. This album can be hard to take at times. It would stretch even the most avid of jazz heads. But, if you open the fuck up, it might be able to give voice to parts of yourself that you thought no one else had. Cause we’re all fucking crazy. It’s the ones pretending that everything is hunky-dory and a-okay that you’ve got to watch out for. Cause they don’t have a jazz shaped facet to relieve the pressure gathering from keeping a straight face, cutting coupons, and driving to work every fucking day. Jazz saves lives, motherfucker. Jazz saves lives.