Joan Torres’s All Is Fused Leaves You Wanting More on New Single “Finale”
The latest single from Joan Torres’s All is Fused, “Finale”, is highly ambitious. The tune clocks in at nearly seven minutes long. It features Bubby Lewis on the bass—which is highly significant since Torres himself is a bassist. The string players are also joined on this affair by a pair of guitarists in Sergio Gonzalez and Gabriel Vicens, a one-man horn section credited to Jonathan Suazo’s alto sax, Emanuel Rivera on the synths and keys, and Fernando Garcia on the cue sticks.
Moreover, this piece seemingly transitions through at least seven different moods or stages. You’ve got the super dramatic intro, which doesn’t give into Garcia’s drumming until over a minute into the opus. With a title like “Finale” you’d best believe there’s a fantastic flourish of a finish for the outro, equally laden with non-drumming gravitas. But there’s also myriad changes of tempos and textures in this number that operate at a breakneck pace to keep the listener fully engaged for the duration of the voyage.
Rivera’s synths are arguably the most accessible and immediately striking element in this pastiche. He paints colors with those huge chords, only to wet ‘em up again when the delectable effects of his piano work sing, seemingly hanging in the sky. Garcia’s performance is equally notable, if for nothing else the sheer rarity of producing a frenetic postmodern drum pattern—for the better part of, yet not quite the duration of the work—purely with acoustics. Parts of it could have been mixed a little louder and are prone to get lost in the swirls of sounds of the rest of the players, but his drumming’s definitely a credit to the track.
With Garcia forcing the pace, it’s a small wonder the string players are seemingly working double time to keep up. On some passages it’s difficult to tell the bass from the guitars the two instruments (and four players, conceivably) are so tightly interwoven or, perhaps even better, fused.
What’s most remarkable about this cut is the fact it succeeds in updating the jazz edict in a cogent way befitting the 21st century while staying true to the ethos of improvisation for which this art form was traditionally revered. In that respect it’s quite trailblazing and indicative of the progressive motion that accompanies most of the work of this band, and quite nicely, at that.