The Jonathan Arellano Project – El Solitario

They say that you can only find yourself when you are alone. They also say that in order for you to truly connect with somebody else in a romantic way (as in, fall in love), first you have to love yourself. I just say that’s a load of bullshit, but fret not, the freaky, experimental jazz sounds of The Jonathan Arellano Project are there to put a soundtrack to your drinking binge.

Make mine a triple vodka & pozol cocktail, please. Sigh.

But enough about my crappy love life. El Solitario is a good EP (second one we review by them) and the mournful dirge that is ‘Solo’ (alone) is the sight and sounds of staring at the ceiling in one of those sleepless nights. You might toss and turn, but the answers never satisfy the questions; the unwanted thoughts and memories will make you look worse for the wear the day after. “Todo arde” (everything burns) indeed, as after the firestorm we find in the mid section of the track just leaves a sad piano lingering in the ashes and dust.

‘Exodo’ needs no vocals, just that tribalesque drumming and the sighs and weeps of Mr. Arellano‘s sax. I spy that sweet bass from their first EP doing a cameo, possibly trying to upstage someone, but restraining to just deliver its lines with Shakespearean panache. You want a choice cut from this EP? ‘Exodo’ is your huckleberry. Get a raincoat and roam the streets, there’s evil to be stopped and dames to be seduced.

Jazz isn’t only for the mournful, there’s a space for the lovelorn and the daydreamer. ‘Este que ves’ (this guy you see – my translation is probably off, sorry) is more for the daydreamer, a sweet groovy track that’s simply gorgeous. Love the vocals that elevate the track from “business” to “first class”. If the man described in the song changed for the best, why can’t our seats in the flight do so too? Enjoy the instrumental atmospheres laid out, simply classy.

You know what? Loneliness ain’t that bad. You get to catch up (aka echar lavadero) with old friends, you have more time to do whatever you want to do and now you get what you want (no, wait, that’s Kelly “Totoing!” Clarkson). ‘El solitario’ is the closing track in this EP and it’s lushy and easy going. Perhaps even optimistic. Life is all about cycles and this happiness comes not from finding “that special someone”, but relishing on that loneliness. Maybe the change will lead you into turning a new leaf?

El Solitario (the lonely one) is a fantastic EP. Jazz might get a bad rep sometimes for being self-indulging (sometimes truth), but this one is a brisk 18 minutes of honest feelings at its rawest.

Words: Sam

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