Release: 19th November 2020
With Cachai, New York-based Chilean saxophonist Anibal Rojas presents his own sound; self-professed ‘immigrant music’ which fuses the rhythm drive of Latin with the soul of R&B and the creative freedom of contemporary jazz.
Cachai is a little word with a lot of meaning.
Literally, it means to trap or capture, and that’s what the Cachái project aims to do: capture an atmosphere, a vibe, a feeling. It’s also a Chilean slang for “you know what I mean?”
In the 20 years since Anibal Rojas emigrated to the US from his native Chile, he’s built a reputation as an in-demand East Coast sax player; his all-round musical force on display whether on tour with Blood, Sweat & Tears, on television with Kelly Clarkson or in the studio with Ralph Irizarry & Timbalaye.
Cachai brings together all this experience, and more. His indigenous roots, influenced by Chilean artists like Inti-Illimani and Victor Jara, rub shoulders with the sound of all-American heroes like Bob Berg, Jeff Lorber and Michael Brecker.
The result is an uplifting album with an eclectic blend of modern jazz and Latin undercurrents, cachai?
Liner notes (by Brad Mason)
I first met Anibal 20 years ago, and although I knew very little about him (except that he was born in Chile), I discovered within 20 seconds of hearing him play that we definitely had ONE thing in common: the love of Bob Berg! It’s a musician thing, when you hear someone play/improvise, you hear their influences.
Musicians spend a lot of time learning, imitating, and being inspired by the language of the masters. When you meet musicians who have been influenced by the same recordings and artists, it creates an instant bond.
“Yeah, Man! Bob Berg is the sh*t!!!” Anibal declared after I mentioned Berg’s name. And that was all it took. We were friends — on and off stage.
“Cannonball Rojas,” as his friends call him, is one of those rare musicians who knows how to play the right stylistic solo at the right time. I have been lucky enough to work with him in diverse musical situations and witness his musical maturity.
When he solos, he can go from an in-the-pocket/inside pop solo to a ridiculously high-energy altissimo, Lenny Picket-style screamer (for which he has received much acclaim) to a tense, harmonically-involved Bob Berg-type improvisation.
Diversity is key nowadays, and this is why he has become such a sought after saxophonist, working with the likes of Kelly Clarkson, Jessica Simpson, Martina McBride, Alicia Keys, and Blood, Sweat & Tears, while continuing to be a member of the world-famous NYC Latin jazz group Ralph Irizarry & Timbalaye.
Fast forward to Anibal’s latest recording, “Cachai.”
What does cachai mean?
It’s the single word asking the rhetorical question “Dig it?” And Chileans use it at the end of almost every sentence. A more literal translation is “to catch,” and that is exactly what this musical project does – it captures a feeling, a vibe, an atmosphere.
With the first track, you feel it — a tasteful rhythm section made up of today’s, top-notch, New York musicians laying a beautiful foundation for Anibal to build solos and soar.
The thing that struck me the most from this recording was his tenor SOUND. Tone, to me, is a critical element of a musician’s identity and Anibal’s is memorable, coming from the historic Coltrane, Brecker, Berg, Grossman school.
Anibal balances limitless technical ability with emotional and musical choices that connect with listeners.
Memorable melodies (that were in my head for the rest of the day) provide a journey from start to finish. The high points for me are “A Day Before Valentine,” “Stay I,” and “Beautiful Insanity.” While stylistically diverse, they have a consistent, cohesive sound.
There is a feeling of band unity here with no one ego trying to dominate. The music is the big picture and the final, unselfish goal.
Of all Anibal’s recordings, Cachai best represents who he is as a musician, writer, and band leader. Cachai encapsulates Anibal’s influences and cultural diversity, while showcasing his unique voice and sound.
These songs are the Anibal I have heard on countless jazz stages and the man I have come to know as my friend.
Listen and you’ll get to know him too…Cachai?
Cachai: recording info
1. A day before Valentine
3. Flight of the FSM
4. Otis Fx
5. Stay I
6. The Midnight Zone
8. Beautiful Insanity
9. I’m So Glad I’m Still Standing Here Today
Anibal Rojas: Tenor Saxophone, Soprano Saxophone (#2), and Quena (#6)
Nitzan Gavrieli: Piano
Costas Baltazanis: Electric Guitar
Gabriel Vivas: Acoustic Bass
Joel Mateo: Drums
Recorded at Samurai Hotel Recording Studio
Produced by Anibal Rojas
Engineered and Mixed by Danilo Pichardo
About Anibal Rojas
Anibal Rojas is a saxophonist with indigenous roots in a modern world.
Born in Chile, Rojas emigrated to the U.S. in his early teens. His parents, fleeing political persecution, bought him a saxophone and signed him up for music lessons to keep him out of trouble.
To supplement the family’s income – his father’s modest doctoral student stipend – Rojas spent his summers as a migrant worker in Iowa’s cornfields. All the while, he was learning too: English and music.
He scored a full music scholarship auditioning on a horn that was held together with rubber bands and four years later scored a degree in music performance from the University of Iowa.
A classically trained jazz lover, Rojas moved to the East Coast and found work with R&B and funk bands, who appreciated his screaming altissimo and big, colorful sound.
Anibal has been an integral part of the East Coast music scene for 20+ years now.
He has performed in major venues nationwide, including Carnegie Hall, The Apollo theater, The Greek Theater, and Universal Studios Amphitheatre, and has appeared on the television shows “Access Hollywood”, “The Joan Rivers Show”, “Good Morning America”, “The Today Show”, “The Early Show”, and “The David Letterman Show”.
He also performs in clubs, theaters and recording studios of the tri-state area as well as South America, Europe, and Africa. Anibal is a renowned performer in any and all styles on all of the saxophones and flutes.
He currently holds the lead tenor sax chair with Ralph Irizarry and Timbalaye. Anibal is also featured on Timbalaye’s latest CD “Algo Nuevo”.
Endorsed by Navarro mouthpieces, Anibal is also a regular featured artist at NAMM. He is also a highly sought-after educator with a very popular sax lessons series on Youtube entitled “SAXREX SESSIONS.
Anibal has performed and recorded with artists as varied as Blood Sweat & Tears, Brian Lynch, Jeff Lorber, Sammy Figueroa, Bob Franceschini, Kelly Clarkson, Arturo O’Farrill, Elliot Mason, Michael McDonald, Bruce Springsteen, Alicia Keys, Caro Emerald, Patty Griffin, Sheila E., Tony Lakatos, Bobby Martinez, Ralph Irizarry, Timbalaye, Nestor Torres, Paquito D’Rivera, Ray Mantilla, Cuba Gooding, Bobby Chew, Stevie Wonder among others.
More info & press requests via press[at]jazzfuel.com
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