Album Review of
5ET (feat. Pol Omedes, Joan Monné, Miguel Fernández & Manel Fortià)

Written by Joe Ross
February 2, 2022 - 12:31pm EST
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Presenting nice, relaxed, solid jazz, drummer David Viñolas’ new quintet project, 5ET, is a pleasure to hear and to understand the universality of this musical language around the world. Blind since birth, Viñolas has many good experiences from the groups he’s played with over the years, but he’s also had to persevere and fight to break down barriers. The proactive problem-solver learned this lesson from music, and he’s also applied it to his life that has been dedicated to music. Based in Spain, his musical travels have also taken him to France, Cuba, Turkey, Portugal, Austria and the U.S., and his eclectic nature has found him involved with projects featuring jazz, reggae, rock, flamenco, and even funky fusion music.

5ET is a welcome addition to David Viñolas’ catalog that also includes his debut album Towards Dusk (Quadrant Records, 2014), a couple volumes with pianist Sergi Sirvent called Timbre Recreations: From Mompou to Bartók (Selffish Records, 2020), and several others. Composed and arranged for a quintet with trumpet, sax, piano, double bass and drums, self-penned selections like “Falco Pelegri” (Pilgrim's Hawk), “Cercant Camins” (Looking for Ways) and “Prelude To Ruby” exhibit a lot of charming, soul-soothing personality. The latter is introductory offering before a snappy rendition of Thelonious Monk’s “Ruby My Dear” with the breezy vocalizing of the lyrics, in Catalan, by trombonist Ruby Payes. 

Besides David Viñolas on drums, the other band members are Pol Omedes (trumpet), Miguel Fernández (tenor sax), Joan Monné (piano) and Manel Fortià (double bass).  Without anything too flashy, the set progresses with warm-hearted, inviting numbers like bassist Manel Fortià’s “Prelude to Manso’s” before Viñolas own “Manso's Blues.”  I especially liked the worldy-wise lyrical sense they imparted to numbers like Jordi Rossy’s “Mr Smiles” and Mancini & Mercer’s “Days of Wine & Roses.” Consistently satisfying musical fare for a relaxing evening by the fireside. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)