The following is an excerpt from a recent article I wrote for All About Jazz:
Deviating from his reputation within the realm of boundary-pushing progressive rock/jazz fusion, Catalan drummer and composer Xavi Reija removed the presence of electrified instruments that dominated previous works for an acoustic album that explores the jazz piano trio format. Reflections, his eighth recording as a leader, synthesizes Reija’s dynamic authority behind the kit with the lyrical proficiency of bassist Pau Lligadas and the great pianist Nitai Hershkovits (best known for his work with bassist Avishai Cohen). What results is a set of expressive compositions that foster conversational interplay propelled by an attention to rhythmic detail.
Throughout, Reija embodies the adaptability required of a session leader who happens to be a drummer; he perpetuates the equilibrium between subtlety and flashiness, applying both accordingly to assure the ultimate goal of collaborative music. On the album’s opener “Martina,” Reija exhibits the aforementioned notion with an understated brush pattern that tastefully underpins an airy piano melody—driving the music rather than overwhelming. By contrast, the elaborate hi-hat strikes in 7/4 during the outset of “Capella (We Still Dance)” gives way to dexterous playing that gloriously escalates in effervescence.
To view the rest, visit: https://www.allaboutjazz.com/reflections-xavier-reija-self-produced-review-by-matthew-aquiline.php