It’s the first time that Jacob Young arrives in Buenos Aires and it is the first time that he will share the stage with his colleague José Saluzzi. Born in Norway in 1970, the son of an American father, Young is one of the most important guitarists in Scandinavian jazz these days. He dined on classical jazz from a very young age and from his geography he forged his own style, made of silences and penetrating melodies. Saluzzi, for his part, is a versatile guitarist, who even from his country has been able to create his own jazz, based on a very personal vision of folklore and other music. On Friday at 10pm the guitarists will meet again in Thelonious Club (Nicaragua 5549) leading a quartet that is completed with Quintino Cinalli on drums and Juan Fracchi on double bass.
Saluzzi – a descendant of a very rich genealogy of musicians including Dino, his father – says that he had been planning this meeting with Young for some time. “I have known Jacob’s music for many years, his album Forever Young, which ECM has edited is among my favorites. I’ve always been interested in its sound and concept. His is a very personal jazz, which reaches very particular sounds not only as a guitarist, but also as a composer ”, says Saluzzi. “We have been in contact via email for a long time and a few weeks ago he told me that he was coming to Buenos Aires and that he was interested in learning more about Argentine music. So I proposed to play together, to exchange our knowledge and cultures, which is the best way to learn. The pandemic has taught us a few things about what we can do remotely, but in music the live experience is unique and irreplaceable ”, adds the Argentine guitarist.
“Guitars in the foreground,” says Young, and it sounds like a slogan. “With this quartet formation, the spaces for dialogue between us are opened with the tranquility that comes from the support of a solid base. The guitars are also different from the timbre. I play electric and José’s has nylon strings, but we both share many expressive codes. I’m sure it will be a good concert, ”adds Young. “There is a common language, of course, but each of us also has our own background and this means that surprises arise in every moment ”, adds Saluzzi. From these affinities, Thelonious’s concert repertoire grew almost naturally. “We will play music from both and some Argentine things. I found it interesting to play them with this duo ”, says Salúzzi and anticipates that they will also play two guitars“ And he loved his brother to the end ”, a classic of his father Dino. “I am very interested in playing this music with José. I feel I am very familiar with this sound, with these cadences, with the melodic depth of this music ”, adds the Norwegian guitarist.
Young recounts the impression he had when he listened to Astor Piazzolla’s music on the radio as a child. “I had no idea what it was, but I was struck by its freshness, its diversity. Many years later, already a professional, I also discovered the music of Dino (Saluzzi) and I realized that there was a lot of resonance with what I thought and felt ”, says Young. Beyond these references that are added to many others heard around the world, the guitarist musically descends from that generation that gave Scandinavian jazz a precise identity. That litter of artists included saxophonist Jan Garbareck, guitarist Terje Rypdal, drummer Jon Christensen, to name a few. “That was a very important generation for us. It was they who, without imitating North American jazz, opened and showed another possible place for a music that, adopting many principles and elements of jazz, originated with us, had to do with our landscape and our idiosyncrasies “, Young says.
The years that Young spent in New York, after starting his training at the University of Oslo, ended up consolidating in the guitarist and composer an idea of his own but open music. The lessons of Jim Hall and John Abercrombie, each in his place, were decisive in encouraging research into the artistically generous horizon of the North American city. “Living, studying and working in New York allowed me to discover many new things. There are many parts of the world that are in a city with an open spirit. There I finished understanding the dynamics that fuel different types of music and how improvisation can be a unifying factor, ”says Young and returns to Argentine music. “I find there is a great melodic link between my music and Argentine music, especially with folklore dances and songs,” he adds. “I find that there is a common air with certain zambas”, Saluzzi says and concludes: “In that open space, improvisation unites us”.