I’m pretty sure this CD represents a first for me, and that’s not something I can say very often having been writing for more than 30 years, but what we have here is a jazz album that has been solely performed, recorded and produced by a single person. Pablo Embon was born and raised in Argentina and started playing both piano and guitar when he was seven years old. Here he plays multiple pianos and keyboards, acoustic, nylon, electric and 12-strong guitars, along with both electric and upright bass. I am guessing the drums are programmed as there is no mention of them anywhere, but if that is the case then it is a fine bit of programming indeed.
This is a wonderfully fluid and laid-back instrumental album with loads of space. He moves between instruments with ease, with arrangements that honestly make the listener believe they are hearing a quartet. There are some delicate touches on the bass behind the melody where are slipping and sliding, adding nuances and deft touches which really make a difference. There is a sense of joy here, and if I didn’t know it was the work of just one man I would be saying the musicians were sitting there bouncing ideas off each other with smiles on their faces as it really does feel that way. The twelve songs are all originals, and they all have that relaxed feel which fits in perfectly with the album title. The album cover shows Pablo in a bar with himself having a beer, and it looks like he really is reminiscing over old times with a friend. Given his control on both guitar/bass and keyboards perhaps it isn’t surprising to find him having a dual personality.
While not essential, this is a fun summer album, bringing in lightness and joy to all who hear it.
7/10 Kev Rowland