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Remembering Toni Belenguer


JAZZ TO JAZZ (JJ 22031 02)
There are people who have a light of their own, who give off a special energy. People that each time you meet them, even after a long time, always invade you with a special feeling of joy.

People with whom the embrace is absolutely sincere. You know you can trust them. That they exude love. That their music reflects exactly what they are, how they breathe, how they feel, how they think. Toni Belenguer was one of those people, difficult to find and that, once you meet them, you want them to be close to you, because they are loved, because they bring positive energy, with their genius and their existential doubts, but above all for their generosity and love.

I met Toni Belenguer around 2005, when we started playing together in groups with double bass player David Mengual and drummer David Xirgu. We played a tribute to Gerry Mulligan. We played some gigs at the Jamboree and other venues. I remember that playing with Toni was a constant source of inspiration, both melodically and rhythmically. He never ceased to surprise you with his phrasing, with his ideas of overwhelming coherence. In 2008 I recorded an album called “Baritone Rhapsody”, where he played practically all the songs. That was my first recording with Toni.

After that came other collaborations, both in my personal projects and those related to the Sant Andreu Jazz Band.

He participated in the JAZZINGS (that's how the SAJB CDs are called) 5 (2014), 6 vol2 (2015), 7 (2016) and 8 vol2 (2017).

He also participated in other CDs of the collection "Joan Chamorro presenta": Rita Payés (2014), Marc Martín (2015), Joan Mar Sauqué (2016), Èlia Bastida (2017), Joan Codina (2017) and also in the album "Joan Chamorro Nonet & More Play Alfons Carrascosa's Arrangements"(2017).

When in 2020 I received the sad news that Toni had left us, I thought of paying him a tribute, dedicating a concert to him in the framework of the Jazz Festival that I direct: the Jazzing Festival.

From the collaborations that Toni made with us in previous years came a great part of the repertoire that we would perform and that you can listen to in this CD. Themes that he had played with us and in which he left a sample of his art and originality. That was the reason why I invited Rita Payés (I can't get Started ), Èlia Bastida (My Ideal ), Andrea Motis (Samba em Preludio), Marc Martín (Softly as in a Morning Sunrise and Close your Eyes) and Joan Mar Sauqué (Motel and Polka Dots and Moonbeans).

I contacted Francisco "Blanco" Latino to see if we could do an original song and an arrangement by Toni and, from the proposals he made, we finally performed Densificación por Fuga (original) and Darn that Dream (arrangement).

The other 3 themes of the CD are arrangements by Joan Monné in which the trombones have a special participation: Angel Eyes, Love Your Spell Is Everywhere and the original by J.J.Johnson, Riviera.

For the concert I invited three important people in Toni's career: Perico Sambeat, Francisco "Blanco" Latino and Carlos Martín, three wonderful musicians who immediately accepted the invitation.

During the concert we read a text dedicated to Toni and we presented Sedajazz with a painting by Enric Bastida (Sedajazz is the project of Latino where Toni grew up, where he took his first steps in jazz music and where he has a classroom named after him). On one wall of that classroom is Toni's painting.

The painting is the cover of this album!

Thank you, Toni, for everything you offered us.

We will come back again and again to your music to remember and enjoy you.

I hope you like, wherever you are, this tribute, and that you enjoy it as we did when we recorded it.

Always in our hearts!!!!

Joan Chamorro