Guitarist Hugo Fernandez, originally from Mexico, now based in Madrid, has released Cosmogram,
his second date as a leader, with the help of countryman drummer Antonio Sanchez, Cuban saxophonist Ariel Bringuez and Spanish bassist Antonio Miguel. A relaxed set with hummable originals, all composed by Fernandez, the music is highly accessible with gentle surprises. Although he's the team captain, Fernandez is more of a midfielder at heart, writing arrangements and playing solos that keep the musical ball in motion from front to rear. Sanchez, as might be expected, is a most valuable player, enlivening tracks such as "Grounds", "Auras" and "Bakio" with fluid beats, helping but never hogging the action. Bringuez, who switches between tenor and alto horns, achieves a highly satisfying and seemingly effortless climax on "Yap", a mellow ballad in 13/4.