Enric Peidro’s Latest Album – “Sweet as Bear Meat”

 

By Taylor Davies

 

 

About Enric Peidro

 

I began playing at the age of fourteen.  I’m mostly a self-taught musician, although I’ve attended some courses, masterclasses, and such over the years.

What lead me to the saxophone at first was its shape and shine… it looked like it was waiting for me behind the glass of the music store! I started playing in R&B bands and very soon after, by just reading the liner notes of the albums I was listening at the time, I discovered the names that the R&B sax players (Red Prysock, Sam the Man Taylor, Sin Austin, etc) cited as their influences, which were none other than Coleman Hawkins, Herschel Evans, Don Byas, Lester Young, and all the great masters of the ’30s.

I remember not long after, while on a trip to Madrid with my parents, I went to a record store and got a few vinyls featuring the cats mentioned before… and that was it! After listening to Hawk, Byas, and Al. I never looked back; I knew right away that was the way I wanted to play. After studying them over the years I’ve realized that the musical language, the particular sound, and tone color of these masters of tenor saxophone were not only the qualities that attracted me at first but are the ones that suit my personality. These qualities and abilities are the vehicles I use to express my feelings and musical thoughts.

 

Your timbre is so soft and sweet, but you still have a way of making your presence known. How did you go about developing and finding your sound?

I’ve developed my sound like most jazz players do, by first just trying to imitate the players I admire, which in my case are the great masters of the ’30s and ’40s, and then trying to find my own personality from what I’ve learned from them in terms of sound, color, and timbre.

  

What do you think sets you apart from other jazz saxophonists and groups in the scene? 

The fact that play traditional jazz which nowadays is not the most common style for most sax players. I have to say, though, that there are a bunch of amazing musicians performing mainstream- straight-ahead jazz. Even if some of them are relatively well known still don’t get the exposure they deserve given their stature.

 

What’s your creative process for producing and writing music?

I don’t write much, honestly. I’m more concentrated on developing an approach to jazz and improvising as personally as possible, particularly sound-wise. I’m very fond of exploring the vast legacy of the American songbook, constantly digging up and adding to my repertoire less known, long-forgotten compositions.

  

What do you think sets you apart from other jazz saxophonists and groups in the scene? 

The fact that play traditional jazz which nowadays is not the most common style for most sax players. I have to say, though, that there are a bunch of amazing musicians performing mainstream- straight-ahead jazz. Even if some of them are relatively well known still don’t get the exposure they deserve given their stature.

 

Usually, one’s original music is a culmination of sounds they like from artists they admire. Who would you say your music derives from? Who would you say you sound the most like? Who are your inspirations? 

It’s very difficult for me to choose who to mention because each time I do I invariably forget to mention someone that is really important to me, musically speaking, so I’d keep the list deliberately short – two sax players who really have influenced me are Benny Carter and Leon “Chu” Berry. I also could listen non-stop and never get tired of players like Duke Ellington, Teddy Wilson, Charlie Christian, and many more.

 

Enric Peidro with Jonathan Stout

 

The Album

 

Why “Sweet as Bear Meat”?

It’s a Johnny Hodges tune that I’ve always liked, so I decided that it was time to record it. I also like the funny title and I think that it matches well with the happy mood of the album.

 

How did the band get together? Are these people you play with regularly or did you get together for the sole facilitation of the album? 

The lineup of the album consists of my regular quartet with the addition of Jonathan. We’ve been working together for nearly 10 years now and are very familiar with Jonathan’s playing as he’s toured with us. We recorded the quartet together in a room and Jonathan recorded the guitar parts from his home in California. As you can hear, the results are as if he was there with us during the recording, which I think is because we have a very good rapport between us and a complementary vision of music.

 

Often times, the artist’s favorite track is not the title track, but the hidden gem. What’s your favorite track on the record and why?

I really like the way the band sounds together on “It Shouldn’t Happen to a Dream” and “Once in a While”, so I’d consider those my favorites.

  

 

Links:

Listen to Sweet as Bear Meat on Bandcamp.

Follow Enric Peidro on Instagram, Facebook, and enricpeidro.com.

Follow Jonathan Stout on Instagram, Facebook, and campusfive.com.


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