"Alexis Cuadrado has forged a beautiful sword in the battle to unite Jazz with profound intellectual journey. The marriage of poetry and jazz brings to mind beatniks reciting as unconnected improvisation takes place in the background. Not here, every verse is supported by music that is integral to what is being said. It is music that is co-created, as it were, to underpin the text. And the music flows through a pastiche of styles, genres, techniques and aesthetics, much like the poems it gives musical voice to, all brilliantly executed, beautifully conceived and filled with poetry in and of itself." - Arturo O'Farrill
"'Poetica' is a beautifully crafted and deftly performed set of music that is inextricably connected to poetry written by 2 deep and dark modern poets. Alexis wrote the music in such a cinematic way that you really feel you are carried away in a dream. The poets, Melcion Mateu and Rowan Ricardo Phillips, recite the poems very effectively, functioning as the '2 horns' out in front of the fine quartet that Alexis has assembled. Throughout the recording, Alexis' bass is an essential character in each story with his beautiful sound, rhythmic bounce and lyrical solos." - John Patitucci
"Alexis Cuadrado and his ace band create dramatic, impassioned settings for and interactions with bi-lingual spoken words, bringing to mind rare, noble, exciting precedents by Kip Hanrahan and Frank Zappa, Carla Bley/Paul Haines' Escalator Over the Hill and Tony Williams Lifetime's Emergency! - for here and now." - Howard Mandel
"On this flotilla of sounds, wrecking beautifully with words, we are drowning-no, resurrecting!-in the lapis luzi of tragic joy, catching the brighten, glittering port of repose. Where have we arrived? These moments of repose in Poètica, when the voice surges with haunting ore-tone over the sparse music, singing “there are no / towers,” we know our port is Manhattan. Soon the isle is full of noises, like the inside of a late night cabaret, where-since Walt Whitman is the MC-we can all sing out of key the song of ourselves. And this is the gift of this album; it intimately washes against us the sonic waves of the little things that make New York New York, in spite of the abundant threat they endure. It will endure like the skyline it praises." - Ishion Hutchinson
"POÈTICA restitches the seams between languages and media, speech and song." - Ben Lerner
"Cuadrado has created a unique and dynamic album . . . there are moments of darkness, frustration, distress—and, at times, beauty."
—Chris Robinson, DownBeat Magazine (4 star review)
"The jazz bassist Alexis Cuadrado has drawn meaningfully from his Spanish heritage on previous albums, but he explores an added literary and political dimension on A Lorca Soundscape."
—Nate Chinen, The New York Times (Fall Pop Music Preview)
"Lorca's poetry has inspired composers from Shostakovich to Golijov, but bassist and Barcelona native Alexis Cuadrado presents a searing and original take with A Lorca Soundscape . . . Cuadrado's music explodes with melody, rhythmic urgency and tonal color."
—David Adler, The Village Voice (The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month)
"His choice of source material, the poems of Federico García Lorca, couldn’t be more compelling. They emerge as a bracing new twist on the hallowed tradition of protest music. For some, the session will be an introduction to Lorca‘s world, and after experiencing the magic of Cuadrado’s ambitions and rewarding sonic adventure, many will be driven to seek out and explore the English translations of these provocative works."
—Mark Holston, Jazziz Magazine
"His new protest song cycle A Lorca Soundscape sets García Lorca’s all-too relevant words to a seductively dark blend of modern jazz and flamenco . . ." —Shaun Brady, The Philadelphia City Paper
"At once stirring and beautiful. This is a beautiful, considered work, as poetic as the words that inspired it."
—Bill Kohlhaase, PasaTiempo, The Sante Fe New Mexican
"Music that mixes the grace and poise of chamber jazz with the power and outrage of a protest song."
—Cormac Larkin, The Irish Times
"Alexis Cuadrado joins the ranks of crusading jazz bassists Charles Mingus (Fables of Faubus) and Charlie Haden and his Liberation Music Orchestra with his protest album A Lorca Soundscape . . . a fine piece in the tradition of jazz protest."
—Chris Smith, The Winnipeg Free Press
"Bassist, composer, and Barcelona native Alexis Cuadrado may be the most lyrical cat on the New York scene these days. One thing’s certain: his latest release, A Lorca Soundscape, is the evocative musical analogue to the poetical phantasms of Federico García Lorca’s Poeta en Nueva York . . . an eloquently lyrical portrait of a world out of balance, and a stunning artistic achievement." —Mel Minter, Musically Speaking
"The music that's presented herein is truly powerful, carrying forth important messages that need to be delivered. Cuadrado has birthed a masterpiece that's linked to the pulse of New York via Spain circa 2013."
—Dan Bilawsky, AllAboutJazz.com
"The depth and majesty of Federico García Lorca’s poetry and the utter beauty of Alexis Cuadrado’s musical interpretations of the poems come together in one mystical puff of smoke."
—Raul Da Gama, The Latin Jazz Network, Jazz Da Gama
"Alexis Cuadrado has produced a masterwork of jazz protest that links the excruciating travails of the Great Depression in New York as viewed through the eyes of poet Federico García Lorca to today’s cultural inequalities and injustices. What makes Cuadrado’s creative action so compelling is how he and his fellow musicians and vocalists deliver his original music—not as a cerebral or technical exercise but with the deep, soulful wonder of duende, which in the poet’s notion conjures up a surging of truth and spirit that emanates from the soles of the feet."
—Dan Ouellette (author of Ron Carter: Finding the Right Notes and the forthcoming Bruce Lundvall: Playing by Ear)
"Ever inventive and searching, bassist Alexis Cuadrado fearlessly navigates crosscurrents of modern jazz, Latin and world music to underscore the relation between today’s economic disparities with those of the past on A Lorca Soundscape, based on Federico Garcia Lorca’s poems about 1929 New York. Vocalist Claudia Acuña gives the poet’s words a robust and emotional reading that surge with feeling and an appreciated efficacy. But the heavy lift is accomplished by Cuadrado, along with a band of sharp-eared and extremely talented musicians, who gives resounding shape to the material by translating the fire and passion of Lorca’s language into a work that’s resonant and sonically engaging."
—Nick Bewsey, ICON, Counting Beats Blog
"Thrilling jazz songs, performed by a star-studded quartet . . ."
—Juerg Sommer, Schweiz am Sonntag
"The chaotic times that fed the creation of the poems Federico Garcia Lorca wrote in Poet in New York echoes in the dramatic and compelling music Alexis Cuadrado constructed for A Lorca Soundscape. His music surrounds, caresses and pushes against the harsh, brooding yet often magical images. Like the words and person that inspired the project, A Lorca Soundscape is both contemporary and timeless."
—Richard Kamins, Step Tempest
"Impressive new project from bassist Cuadrado . . ."
—Dave Sumner, eMusic/17Dots
"A Lorca Soundscape offers seven tracks of refined beauty . . . a successful musical experiment that captures and enhances the feel of the tormented Lorca : solitude, melancholy, sensuality, languor . . ."
—All About Jazz Italia
"Fascinating . . . this one you’ll listen to over and over . . ."
—George Harris, JazzWeekly (Ringer of the Week)
"Chilling intensity . . ."
—Thomas Cunniffe, Jazz History Online
"Composed and arranged by Cuadrado in rich dramatic fashion."
—O's Place Jazz Magazine
Radio-Internet Coverage of A Lorca Soundscape
WBGO: Video of the premiere performance.
NPR Music: Webcast of the premiere performance.
WNYC Soundcheck with John Schaeffer: Live Performance and interview.
NPR’s Jazz Set with Dee Dee Bridgewater: Dedicated one hour show.
“The record teems with surprising time-signature shifts, stacked rhythms and counterpoint passages yet comes across as entirely natural. The genius of Cuadrado’s tonally pungent and fairly lengthy compositions relates to how they’re tethered to central motifs that often function as bookends.” —DownBeat Magazine (four star review)
“This ambitious nine-movement suite showcases the compositional prowess of Barcelona-born bassist Alexis Cuadrado, a New York resident and founding member of the Brooklyn Jazz Underground.”
“ . . . revelling in his Spanish origins, the bassist and composer Alexis Cuadrado presents his Noneto Iberico, an ambitious multi-movement work that blends jazz and flamenco material."
—The New Yorker
“Mr. Cuadrado, a bassist, has devoted much of his energy as a composer-bandleader to an exploration of Spanish jazz hybrids. His prepossessing new album, Noneto Ibérico (BJU), advances that cause considerably, and so should this album-release engagement."
—Nate Chinen, The New York Times
“The Barcelonan bassist celebrates the release of his latest album, Noneto Ibérico, a nine-movement suite that draws on flamenco. His intricate and sharply defined compositions show that he’s tapped into something much deeper.”
—New York Magazine
“Noneto Ibérico is one of those very skilful pieces of music that really works best as a whole. It’s like a whirlwind tour through gorgeous, lush flamenco grooves. Brimming with passion and spice, Cuadrado has accomplished something truly hot with this one.”
—Jazz, Blues & The Truth
“Cuadrado puts a fresh timestamp on Spanish Flamenco and modern jazz . . . Noneto Ibérico reboots flamenco-jazz for the twenty-first century.”
“Alexis Cuadrado is carving a place for his exceptional bass playing and his most impressive composing abilities. Noneto Iberico is a successful brilliant endeavor embracing the complexities of Spanish Flamenco rhythms while embedding contemporary American jazz improvisations and harmonies. Alexis’ unique compositions are passionate with tons of clarity throughout! Noneto Iberico is going to demand repeated listening! Bravo!”
—Bassist/Composer Rufus Reid
“Flamenco rhythms meet high-wire jazz on bassist-composer Alexis Cuadrado's elegant new release, Noneto Iberico.”
—Time Out New York
“a mixture of 'old world' fire in the context of decidedly 'new world' attitude' . . . part of a panoramic Spanish symphony of original music that treats the listener to shifting folkloric forms within a modern jazz format.”
—The New York City Jazz Record
“Listen to Cuadrado’s compositions and you’ll find every reason to take him seriously.”
—Josh Jackson, NPR Music
"The rich melody lines, the handsome harmonies, the subtle rhythmic changes, the excellent solo work and ensemble parts and the joyous attitude of the music all make Noneto Ibérico worth your investigation." “The musicianship is as impressive as the expansive compositions; there are harder edges mixed with softer, intensely romantic, flourishes . . . really quite special."
—Richard Kamins, Step Tempest
“Alexis Cuadrado is a bassist/composer/band leader after my own heart. With Noneto Iberico he's going for something personal, accessing folk music of his native country and continuing to add to and expand the definition of the word ‘jazz’. I'm a fan.”
—Bassist/Composer Ben Allison
“Cuadrado doesn't merely mash up flamenco and jazz; he creates nine movements that are intricately conceived and connected, and assembles a nine piece band full of some of NYC's finest to bring his pieces to life . . . Cuadrado demonstrates with Noneto Iberico that there's little he can't accomplish musically that he sets his mind to.”
“Dexterously melding sophisticated harmonies with the Spanish rhythms . . . Cuadrado’s orchestrations wove a multi-hued tapestry. . .”
—Russ Musto, All About Jazz New York (now known as The New York City Jazz Record, on the premiere of Noneto Iberico at The Jazz Gallery, October 2009)
“This ambitious work by bassist Cuadrado draws upon the rhythms and unique structures of various flamenco song forms, merging them seamlessly into a sophisticated modern jazz context. The top-flight band gives a strong performance, and the recording quality is excellent. Very good stuff . . .”
—KZSU Stanford Radio 90.1 FM