Posted on on Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”…

Barcelona, Spain., native Dave Juarez is well-educated in the jazz vernacular amid studies with guitar great John Abercrombie and tenure at SUNY Purchase upon his relocation to New York. Here, the artist shows agility, focus and a multidimensional line of attack with his estimable supporting lineup. He alternates moods, tonalities and shadings while shifting the stride and launching animated solos alongside pianist John Escreet and saxophonist Seamus Blake.

Juarez’ compositions are linear and sometimes ride atop a broad horizontal plane, although there’s more bounce and pop then a staid musical climate. The piece “Lonely Brooklyn,” highlights the artist’s compositional attributes. Here, the band embarks upon a sprightly bop framework designed with brisk unison phrasings and a frothy pulse. Juarez shows grace and a sense of ownership via his penchant for building tension, but nicely contrasted by harmonious thematic constructions. With a joyous storyline, the band branches out into the improvisational strata, augmented by Escreet’s zinging harmonics and melodic intervals.

The musicians work within a hearty modus operandi that is keenly complemented by the vibrant soloing jaunts and focused group-centric methodology. Indeed, Juarez has done his homework. Perhaps the best is yet to come from this talented artist whose shining star may be a near-term certainty.

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Sea of Tranquility reviews “Round Red Light”….

Born in Barcelona, jazz guitarist/composer Dave Juarez has recently released his debut album Round Red Light on Posi-Tone Records. Joining Juarez is an ensemble of fabulous players including Seamus Blake (tenor sax), John Escreet (piano), Lauren Falls (bass) and Bastian Weinhold (drums). This is melodic no nonsense jazz albeit with a modern approach that sounds fresh and exciting every time I listen to the album. All the players are accomplished musicians and there are some excellent solos sprinkled throughout the album’s nine tracks including Juarez’s rippling guitar runs. His solos provide some of the many highlights of the disc but not so much that they detract from the other instruments. Indeed, Juarez has no problem sharing the spotlight making for a cohesive and compositionally tight group of songs.


Beginning with the light and breezy “Montpellier View”, the album is off to the races with a quintessential feel good groove and fine tenor sax work from Blake. Escreet’s piano provides a subtle texture in the background before the pace quickens and the drums get busier. Juarez’s muted guitar solo is top notch. Clean guitar notes punctuate the beginning of the title track as Juarez explores up and down the neck of his guitar. A languid sax groove settles in giving this one a nostalgic sound. “Lonely Brooklyn” is an upbeat number featuring outstanding solos from Escreet and Blake and kept in check by the fine rhythm section of Falls and Weinhold. The playing is quite complex, almost having an improvised feel.


Other highlights include the heartfelt “Belleza Anónima” with wonderfully melodic sax and the balladic “La Noche Oscura Del Alma” with more outstanding tenor sax, this time pierced by Weinhold’s precision cymbal work. The album ends with the eleven minute “Rnp”, a showcase for the ensemble to stretch out musically.


Round Red Light is an excellent debut from a fine jazz guitarist. I think jazz purists will especially be impressed with Juarez’s attention to detail and his traditional yet fresh take on ensemble jazz.

Track Listing:
1. Montpellier View (4:44)
2. Round Red Light (5:34)
3. Lonely Brooklyn (5:32)
4. The Echo Of Your Smile (6:22)
5. Belleza Anónima (5:08)
6. Serotonina (7:26)
7. La Noche Oscura Del Alma (6:38)
8. Luna De Barcelona (9:03)
9. Rnp (11:17)


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Peter Hum on Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”…

The Barcelona-raised guitarist Dave Juarez — just 23 — bursts onto the jazz scene with Round Red Light, released on a significant boutique label and featuring heavyweights tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake and pianist John Escreet as well as the guitarist’s youthful peers bassist Lauren Falls and drummer Bastian Weinhold.

His disc features nine originaI tunes that generally have a nice, natural lyricism to them — they sound less like school assignments and competition winners and more like something that Juarez sang and then wrote down.

The title track is slow and lovely as it once again shows off Blake’s greatness as a ballad interpreter. Three tunes — The Echo Of Your SmileLa Noche Oscura Del Alma and Luna de Barcelona — are slow, haunting, Latin-tinged tunes. Belleza Anonima is pretty, poppy and songful, but capable of framing direct, admirable solos from Blake and Juarez.

Among the more rambunctious tunes are the opener Montpellier View and the closer RNP, both brisk 3/4 tunes. Serotonina is the disc’s fast swinger, more in keeping with the kind of music that Posi-Tone’s best known for. Lonely Brooklyn is a 7/4 excursion, with an Escreet solo that becomes typically spiky and jagged.

The only criticism I’ll make is that Juarez is not as strong a soloist as Blake or Escreet, who really provides the disc’s finest moments. Granted, that’s a bit like saying that the guitarist is not world-class. Seriously, some of Juarez’s solos on the slower tunes are just fine, but I find on other tunes he can sound too haphazard.

Of course, at 23, Juarez has plenty of time to boost that aspect of his music.


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Guitar International review for Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”…

Round Red Light is the debut recording from Barcelona guitarist Dave Juarez and the album is comprised of all original material. Juarez has assembled a fine ensemble to present his compositions for this recording session, including John Escreet (Piano), Seamus Blake (Saxophone), Lauren Falls (Bass) and Bastian Weinhold (Drums) are solid players. The music is modern in nature and the melodies fairly complex.

This CD is an excellent showcase for saxophonist Blake, who is featured throughout and offers a solid performance on every track. Pianist Escreet offers solos that are largely scalar in their approach. Juarez has a John Scofield-like influence present in his playing and sound. He truly has an interesting and creative compositional gift in this musical style.

Titles include “Montpellier View,” “Round Red light,” “Lonely Brooklyn,” “Luna De Barcelona” and “RNP.” The music is well played and energetic. Fans of this genre will probably enjoy the overall effort of the quintet. This CD is definitely more about the total musical group and tunes than a feature of any individual.

Vince Lewis / Guitar International


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Lucid Culture reviews “Round Red Light”….

Dave Juarez’s Round Red Light Burns Brightly

Dave Juarez’s new album Round Red Light – just out on Posi-Tone – is sort of the last thing you would expect from a jazz guitarist. There are compositions here that he doesn’t even play on, which speaks volumes. He’s a strong, individualistic, potently melodic writer who gets the max out of all the voices he has available here, with strikingly interesting arrangements where everything counts. He doesn’t like to waste notes, especially impressive for a guitarist: while there are other six-string guys in jazz who also play tersely and memorably, there’s also a whole generation of post-Stern, post-Scofield guys who refuse to play fewer than a thousand notes where one or two would do just fine. This guy is as far from that style of playing as Coltrane is from Kenny G. The excellent band behind him embraces that esthetic with joy and passion: Seamus Blake on tenor, John Escreet on piano, Lauren Falls on bass and Bastian Weinhold on drums.

The album opens and closes with jazz waltzes. The buoyant first track, Montepellier View swings its way through to a judicious Juarez solo where he climbs in stages with a graceful intensity. The concluding track, RNP, works off a biting modal theme that serves as a launching pad for a stunningly precise, tricky staccato solo from Escreet, some tastefully balanced pyrotechnics by Juarez and finally a fullscale, menacing intensity, the whole band burning beneath Blake’s ecstatic crescendos. Juarez is also very adept at boleros. La Noche Oscura del Alma begins slowly with more unease than dread and builds to a disarmingly funny series of false endings, lit up by a gimlet-eyed solo by Escreet. The Echo of Your Smile, a vivid ensemble piece, brings out the best in everybody. Falls, whose striking, incisive lines make many of this album’s most memorable moments, elevates it at the end with more than a hint of funk, Escreet adding a tinge of menace with his cascades. The best of these is the broodingly intense Luna de Barcelona, Juarez nonchalantly firing off a snarling chord or two as he winds his way up, Escreet bringing a funky edge this time, but with plenty of bite, introducing a plaintive, blue-flame, full-ensemble take of the final verse.

Just from the title, you know that Seratonina is trouble. She’s fast, and not a little satirical, bass and drums practically walking themselves off the edge of the song as Juarez wanders obliviously, Escreet taking it from caffeinated to starlit and then back again. Belleza Anonima takes its time coming together and after another clever false ending emerges as a song without words, Blake leading the way. Lonely Brooklyn doesn’t feel that lonely – with an understated Afro-Cuban vibe, it pairs Escreet’s cascades against Falls’ good-natured pulse. And the title track, a ballad, gives Blake a chance to get expansive before Escreet and Juarez pair off gingerly afterward. Not a single weak track here: a stealth contender for one of 2011′s best jazz albums.


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SomethingElse! reviews Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”…

For a musician who has devoted his life since early childhood toward his craft and studied for many years as well as earning his stripes in the bars of the great jazz cities of the world, the release of that first album has to be a feeling of relief, elation and accomplishment. That day came for Barcelona’s own Dave Juarez on April 19, when this guitarist issued Round Red Light.

Taking an interest in guitar at a very young age, Juarez studied at Conservatory of Amsterdam before heading out to New York to the the jazz world’s preeminent bar curcuit, and continued studies at SUNY Purchase (it’s also where he recorded this album). There, he learned under John Abercrombie, who opined that Juarez “doesn’t sound like like anybody else, and it’s obvious to me that he has a great control of the guitar.” Juarez does pull from many sources for his style (Jim Hall and Wes Montgomery come to mind first), but reveals a wider diversity of influences: a more modern, rocking jazz guitar sound more in the vien of a Kurt Rosenwinkel, it’s a certain fusion-ish style that can be traced back to—who else?—Abercrombie.

For Round Red Light, Juarez goes with a no-nonsense quintet consisting of John Escreet (piano), Lauren Falls (bass), Bastian Weinhold (drums) and the quickly ascending saxophonist from Vancouver, Seamus Blake. Blake, as you might recall, is part of that BANN super-combo whose debut record As You Lke from earlier this year stood out for all the right reasons.

Juarez in fact gives Blake much of the spotlight, a gracious leader who figures out which of the two lead instruments can bring out the best of his nine self-composed tunes at any given moment of the song. The driving, thematic lines on “Montpellier View,” for instance, are amplified by a Blake/Juarez unison run, and Blake’s joyful articulation sets the pace for rhe song, and Juarez’s slightly ragged tone that follows serves as the foil. However, the leader’s supple lines come to the fore on “Round Red Light,” a modern wistful melody where again Blake’s big, round tone plays a major role in shaping it. “Lonely Brooklyn,” Juarez wrote a tune that takes on subtly shifting rhythms with “Lonely Brooklyn” and Escreet’s piano there is brisk and imaginative.

“Serotonina” is an application of bop techniques that Juarez is able to update that by nimbly fold in a fuzzy guitar sound without making it disruptive, but his straightahead discharge of notes sizzles in the good tradition of the style’s forbears. Juarez doesn’t make a lot of overt references musically to his Spanish motherland, but the hometown tribute to “Luna de Barcelona” is a notable exception. Though the melody has a flavor from Spain, it’s done within the context of the group’s 21st century jazz sonic character, yet another instance where the guitarist doesn’t take any idea whole, but incorporates it into his own signature.

These days, Juarez is back at Amsterdam, making a name for himself on the Continent. But he hadn’t forgotten the lessons he learned in NYC. With a fresh tone, a solid compositional skill set and an attention to the details, Juarez has the means to go anywhere he wants. Round Red Light is a another product of Posi-Tone Records. Pay a visit to Dave Juarez’s website here.


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Dan Bilawsky’s AAJ review for Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”…

The quintet that came together to record Round Red Light is a unique conglomeration of established talent, rising-star scene-stealers, and artists who are only starting their ascent and journey upward in the world of jazz. While guitarist Dave Juarez falls into the last category, his debut album should go a long way in creating a buzz around the Barcelona-born musician.

Juarez presents a nine-song program of originals which often take shape around Seamus Blake’s magnetic and magnificent tenor saxophone. Juarez and Blake blend wonderfully when they latch onto one another and deliver unison lines, but each man brings his own personality into his respective solo spots. Blake can deliver muscular tenor work as he rides the wave of energy that the band creates (“Lonely Brooklyn”), but his gentle gestures almost give off an alto-like allure at times (“Round Red Light”). Not to be outdone, Juarez knows how to tear things apart with razor-like lines (“RNP,” “Montpellier View” and “Luna De Barcelona”), but he’s no one-trick pony. His guitar work is attractive and welcoming when placed in a ballad setting (“Round Red Light”) and, while Juarez doesn’t sprinkle suggestions of Spain over most of his music, the one number that hints at his background (“The Echo Of Your Smile”) shows off another side of his musical personality and proves to be an album highlight.

While Juarez and Blake are simpatico soloists and frontline partners, pianistJohn Escreet stands squarely on his own, in the middle of the ensemble. Juarez and Blake occasionally remove themselves from the situation, leaving Escreet in the driver’s seat as each member of the rhythm section uses their quick reflexes and agility to communicate at the highest level (“Lonely Brooklyn”). Bastian Weinhold’s drumming meets at the desirable crossroads of constant mobility and musicality, while bassist Lauren Falls is flexible, quick to adjust to any bends in the road, and solid as a rock when the music calls for a stabilizing force. These three musicians combine to form the rare combination of a rhythm section that takes plenty of chances without sacrificing a solid foundation for the other musicians to move over.

While red lights usually serve as a signal to stop, Round Red Light is a sign that guitarist Dave Juarez is going places, as he fleshes out his own unique compositions with the help of this marvelous ensemble.


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Rob Young reviews Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”…


With his debut recording composer/guitarist Dave Juarez turned left from center to record “ROUND RED LIGHT” and join the promising and compelling new voice in jazz Posi-Tone Records. The LA based label has caught the eyes, ears and attention of young, creative and innovative musicians globally by the dozens and Dave Juarez is positively one artist I’m sure jazz enthusiasts on the modern jazz tip will absolutely love!

“MONTPELLIER VIEW” opens this exciting yet playfully invigorating romp of this nine song collective features Seamus Blake – tenor sax, John Escreet – piano,Lauren Falls – bass and Bastian Weinhold on drums breathe life into this mesmerizing journey.

The title “ROUND RED LIGHT” is a ballad showcases the Barcelona native’s sensitive, tonality and ability to chronicle the attributes of players like Benson or Montgomery with grace and symmetry.

At the third position, there’s “LONELY BROOKLYN.” It burns with rapid speed and dexterity, the infallible interplay by the ensemble employs Juarez’s poetic, generous and unsurpassed chops effortlessly.

Juarez switches directions sonically with another tasteful ballad appropriately titled “The Echo of Your Smile.” I love it when music draws my attention away from the typical canvas and distinctly swirls attuned ideas among the corresponding voices and affectively engage in unblemished interplay as soloist.

Lauren Hall on acoustic bass along with Juarez and Blake speak effortlessly as one voice, they are unhurriedly aroused by their lush, sobering and flexible tones which are heighten from within the center of “BELLEZA ANONIMA” is breathtaking. The group turns up the heat with the uplifting and hard hitting straight ahead gem called “SEROTONINA.” Although gifted, Juarez’s soulful, inventive and balanced approach is a springboard to his ability to score attractive, compelling and listenable compositions.

“LUNA NOCHE OSCURA DEL ALMA” fits the description of being poise, intense and listener friendly. Pianist John Escreet as a soloist accents the progressive undertones on this impressive piece composed by Juarez.

Juarez’s love and compassion for Spain is thoroughly expressed on “LUNA DE BARCELONA.” In essence, he experiments with a variety of shapes, textures and rhythms are the conduit to the edger side of his compositional voice makes this gem one of my favorites thus far.

“RNP” is somewhat of a departure of what’s already deemed as an excellent adventure thus far. This eleven plus minute gem closes out this extensive session of highly energetic songs to unwavering lush arrangements attached to intractable fusion tendencies showcases the impressive interplay by this powerfully engaging ensemble is what modernist, jazz connoisseurs and fusionist live for musically.

His peers view Dave Juarez as “a jazz guitarist with something to say.” Yes, he’s done a brilliant job compositionally and artistically to express his ideas through the body of these nine originals. When I hear jazz shaped with such a prevailing and insightful blueprint … I’m simply thankful. It’s not often you hear recordings balanced with virtuous ideas in a variety of shapes, colors, tempos and tonality as expressed on “ROUND RED LIGHT.” –Rob Young | Reviewer

Track Listing:
9. RNP

Dave Juarez – guitar
Seamus Blake – tenor sax
John Escreet – piano
Lauren Falls – bass
Bastian Weinhold – drums

Produced by Marc Free

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Another review for Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”….

A Barcelona native, guitarist Dave Juarez wins major points on his debut for Positone Records, an LA based independent label with a dazzling roster of young jazz lions, mostly due to his deep commitment to the band concept and a playbook of super strong compositions. He pulls together a like-minded team – tenor saxophonist Seamus Blake, pianist John Escreet, bassist Lauren Falls and drummer Bastian Weinhold – on a collection of fresh tracks that highlight the strengths of each. Blake is the veteran here, having a host of solo recordings and dozens of sideman gigs to his credit, and he gives the album a boost with his scintillating solos. Escreet is an especially communicative player, full of surprise and brilliance, and he doesn’t disappoint whether applying his staccato intensity on “Lonely Brooklyn” or applying a glossy lyricism to “Belleza Anonima.” As the leader, Juarez runs his lines with grace and poetic humility (“The Echo Of Your Smile”) and takes a clever stab at the harmonics on Monk’s “Round Midnight (see title tune). If there’s any criticism, it’s that Juarez is a touch shy, giving too much space to Blake. But all is forgiven listening to Juarez on the moon-kissed “Luna De Barcelona,” a tune that inspires peak performances from his copacetic quintet and features a blissed out solo by the guitarist. (9 tracks; 61:45 minutes)

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Step Tempest review for Dave Juarez “Round Red Light”…

Posi-Tone Records continues its streak of good new music with this, the debut CD by guitarist/composer Dave Juarez.  Juarez, a native of Barcelona, Spain, has created a program that covers much stylistic territory, utilizing an excellent including Seamus Blake (tenor sax), John Escreet (piano), Lauren Falls(acoustic bass) and Bastian Weinhold (drums – he’s got a new CD that will be reviewed in the next few weeks.) While there a slew of fine solos, the first thing one notices is the compositions;  all these pieces have well-defined melodies and fine harmonies.  A handsome ballad, such as “Belieza Anonima“, not only has a sweet melody but also wonderful coloring from the supporting musicians. Whether it’s a cascading line from the guitar, splashing cymbals or creative piano fills, this portrait is fully developed.  The title track, “Round Red Light” (a pleasing take on Mr. Monk’s famous tune), is another lovely ballad, with an excellent tenor solo – listen to how Juarez shadows the tenor on the theme (both in and out of the song) and don’t miss the splendid rhythm section work from Escreet, Ms. Falls and Weinhold. After a rousing guitar solo, Escreet takes over on “Luna de Barcelona” with a hearty solo built upon Juarez’s final lines – he, then, goes off in his own direction, with a rhythmical solo that hints at Flamenco as well as Romantic classical music. “RNP“, the final track, is also the most “open”, starting slowly then “revving up” for the solos – everybody is “smoking” here, from the poly-rhythms created by Weinhold to the active bass lines to the series of fiery solos (Juarez really lets loose at the climax of his spot), culminating in Blake’s tour-de-force.

Round Red Light” starts out strong and gets better as one moves through the tracks. With nary a false step, Dave Juarez has created a gem of creative music that illustrates his excellent composing skills and the joy of creative interplay.  To find out more, go

Enjoy the opening track, “Montpellier View“, by clicking on the link below – courtesy of Posi-Tone Records and IODA Promonet.
Montpellier View (mp3)