Friday, May 9, 2014

Fernando Ulibarri, Transform

When life is like a whirlwind, we have to learn to fly alongside. That's how I feel writing up the last review post of the week, number 15. I have to sort through the press sheets this weekend because they are out of order and so I don't have the background on the artist here that I would like. OK, I found his website. Guitarist Fernando Ulibarri hails from Costa Rica, went to Berklee, graduated, went on to get his MA from Florida International University in Miami. And he remains based in that city.

OK, good. His album Transform (self-released) focuses on a fine quartet doing some memorable Ulibarri numbers in a rock-inflected modern jazz vein. This is harmonically based changes music that Ulibarri negotiates with melodic liveliness. His guitar work sings. His band has the right cats for this music. Jim Gasior plays piano and keys in the vein that makes something out of the changes too. Bassist Josh Allen and drummer John Yarling have that relaxed push jazz-rock that we can trace back to Gary Burton's early-to-mid period recordings. But they do it well.

Fernando is an artiste. You might hear the influence of Metheny but with a bright kind of transcendence that goes beyond the imitation stage.

This is seriously good music and Mr. Ulibarri will put a smile on your face. Nice!


  1. Thanks a lot Grego. Really appreciate the kind words! Thanks for having such a great blog. The support is very much appreciated!!

  2. Thank YOU Fernando for the beautiful music! Keep going!