After an album of Spanish-flavored original tunes, Ontology (Origin Records, 2019), Galicia-based saxophone Xose Miguélez releases Contradictio. Alongside Miguélez, the album features Jean-Michel Pilc on piano, Carlos Barretto on bass and Marcos Cavaleiro on drums. Both Miguélez and Pilc are listed as the album producers. The forceful energy of this great French pianist comes out in every tune.
Unlike Ontology, Contradictio includes several jazz standards. "You and the Night and the Music," written by Arthur Schwartz, starts with a subtle introduction of the theme by the bass and drums duet. The rest of the band joins after the bass solo, adding new colors to the arranging. Pilc creates some nice reharmonization and counterpoint under the saxophone solo and then bursts in a virtuosic solo. Miguélez rewrites a popular tune "Someday My Prince Will Come" by Frank Churchill in the style of Thelonius Monk, which results in "Someday My Monk Will Come" performed by the saxophone and piano duet. George Gershwin's "But Not for Me" is arranged in a more traditional way. Johnny Green's tune "Body and Soul" gets a new melody and turns into "Soul and Body." An arrangement of another Green's tune, "Out of Nowhere," has an upbeat tempo and adds more drive to the album.
The Spanish influences appear in the popular song "Meniña" that Miguélez fits into the harmonic progression from Juan Tizol's "Caravan." Miguélez plays his composition "Ontology" twice on the album: with the full band and in the duet with Pilc. The piece has beautiful melodic lines and lush harmonies. "Contradictio," another original oeuvre by Miguélez, adds some melancholic mood. Pilc has contributed as a composer of the tune "Galicia" that has an intimate and soulful piano introduction. Contradictio offers to listeners a wide variety of styles and colors to enjoy.