Here is a band I was not expecting to "fall for". While I love various forms of Jazz and some bands and musicians in this vast "scene" have released albums that are favourites of mine, I was not prepared for the impact that Naima would leave on me.
I discovered them while browsing through CD Baby's jazz offerings when I encountered this album called Uno from a Spanish quartet.
More after the jump
Naima are from Valencia in Spain.
They have released two albums thus far: Uno (2006) and Buscas? (2010).
Currently the lineup is:
Manolo Valls Tenor sax
Luis Torregrosa Drums
Quique Ruiz Piano
Óscar Cuchillo Double bass
The thing with Naima is that while being rooted in jazz, presenting a melody seems to be their primary care along with the usual thematic development. They don't tiptoe around the main theme; they showcase it, flaunt and embrace it in full, with what feels like less of improvisatory jamming than with carefully notated development.
However, the tunes presented are definitely not devoid of mood and atmosphere. Indeed, what comes out of the speakers ranges from the lush and soothing to the thrilling and heart-warming; from the fragile to the powerful. Each musician is well heard in the mix, each adding to the rich sound, all while blending in smoothly with the sound of the band.
They also did three covers in these two albums:
Pixies - Ana
Depeche Mode - Behind The Wheel
The Smiths - There Is A Light That Never Goes out.
Watch these videos and listen to them on their myspace (link above):