One of the most prominent saxophonists in the Galician jazz scene, Xose Miguélez is also an expert - and a bagpiper - practitioner of the traditional music of his region, which he teaches at the Vigo Conservatory. He is also one of the present cultists of what is called "muiñeira jazz", a hybrid of Galician jazz and popular music that had its main pioneer in Alberto Conde, the same one who recently dedicated to Bernardo Sassetti the album "The Awakening of an Artist". " We also had the opportunity to listen to him with Conde, a couple of years ago, in Porto (Jazz no Parque, in Serralves), part of a project, Human Evolution, which included two musicians from India and the Portuguese José Valente. . His connection to Portugal did not end with this meeting with the Porto violist - Miguélez finished his studies at ESMAE and the group that co-directs with pianist Jean Michel Pilc includes Carlos Barretto and Marcos Cavaleiro.
For all the themes of this meditative "Ontology" he took the same motif from four notes of a Galician songbook theme that was interpreted by his great-aunt in the Cerdedelo-Laza Mountains, and this foundation (this ontology) is felt. implicitly and explicitly throughout the hearing. The format is that of post-bop, but taken with a softness (especially in the tenor sax performance) that comes straight from the cool legacy, and worked through complex harmonies (guitarist Storm Nilsson shines in this domain), always sounding contemporary style that makes a few more references clear - for example, Peter Schlamb's vibraphone on two of the tracks reminds us how impressive the role of this instrument was in the golden years of the Blue Note catalog. It is good to hear and shows us that there is good jazz being created north of our country.