Rising jazz pianist David Virelles is not short of famous fans. Gilles Peterson professed his love for the Cuban-born, New York-based musician in these very pages for his 10 best tracks of 2012, ex-Battles frontman Tyondai Braxton DJ-ed the launch party for Virelles’ ‘Continuum’ album, and lovely soul-pop-dance trio Sunless ’97 are big fans of his experimental, deeply spiritual sounds. Here they tell us why you should get wise too.
Sunless ’97: “David Virelles’ ‘Continuum’ record is a deep and mesmerising trip thru a mystical-bent jazz. He’s a young Cuban pianist that seems to follow his music wherever it leads him – he is taken off on lilting threads and works over phrases and motifs. At the same moment it is fluid and intuitive, yet presenting a bold statement. The album, with cinematic intensity, takes you places via strange clusters of music and silences, extremities of rattling percussion (courtesy of the great Andrew Cyrille, who played with Cecil Taylor, Oliver Lake and Sun Ra amongst others) that drop out into measured, odd chord progressions – and the poetry of Afro-Cuban percussionist Ramon Diaz. It connects free-jazz, spiritual music and modern sensibilities. There is a beautiful arppegiating synth that bubbles just under the surface of Manongo Pabio – the music seems unlimited. Beyond anything though it just has a real soul that speaks to you on a very basic human level. It’s earth music, but its been to space.”