This morning my car’s mp3 player randomly spit out the live version of Led Zeppelin’s “Moby Dick”, famously distinguished by a long John Bonham drum solo including his handling of the skins to obtain melodic and timbral variations. We have been missing Bonham for 40 years now, but I’m sure he would have appreciated Leo Suarez’s nimbleness in that and other percussive departments, and learned from it for further development of technical finesse.
Suarez, currently based in Philadelphia, belongs among the improvisers who oversee their instrumentation to such an extent that they can produce on-the-spot compositions within a “free” structure. Feliciano‘s eight tracks reveal a thorough knowledge of drum dynamics, and the ability to swiftly interpret newly emitted signals as first steps towards a composite, yet ever-understandable transient architecture.
Attuned listeners are afforded the required breathing space to correctly perceive the temporal fragmentation while examining the perspectives opened by the performer. Ultimately, one settles in on a purely psychophysical level, and enjoys the music’s beneficial massage on the entire living system. Bowed cymbals, rubbed components and assorted noises resulting from Suarez’s investigations integrate splendidly with the more “normal” instrumental parts. The overall feeling emerging from this album is one of serenity, as if we were quietly observing biological transformations generating peculiar kinetic energies.