The Basque team of Jabier Muguruza

Tickets sold out this Friday at the Bidebarrieta Library (okay, they were worth € 5 and only 134 seats were available for the sake of the pandemic, but it has merit) for the premiere in Euskadi of the new album by Jabier Muguruza (Irun, 1960), the discbook ‘Geltokiak izarretara’ (Seasons to the stars), a selection of 15 songs in Basque from the 80-90s, between folk and pop, which was sold at the entrance to 20 euros. Such an anthology, this Basque selection by the oldest of the Muguruza, has emerged at the proposal of the Barnasants Festival, an expert in songwriting and mounted in Barcelona (Jabier Muguruza has a lot of billboards in Catalonia), who requested it to celebrate its 25th anniversary. This is why the album has had two official releases: one in Barcelona last February and another this Friday in Bilbao.

Jabier presented him with a luxury band: the Travellin ‘Brothers keyboardist Mikel Azpiroz, the Basque-French guitarist Jean-Marie Ecay (ex from Itoiz!), The bassist Mikel Artieda and the always smiling drummer Karlos Arancegui (Rulo, Erentxun; sin However, the album was recorded by David Gómez). Jabier officiated without being hardly nervous or rambling, he broke several ice cubes with his jokes, sang with a good voice and played with words, although we already know that his whisper is short and quasi recited. AND the simple but integrated band ranged from the current cottony soul to floating country.

The appointment, counting the three oratory interventions by Bernardo Atxaga, lasted 76 minutes for 11 songs, since four of the final part of the disc-book remained in the inkwell, paradoxically all of the singer-songwriter: those of Imanol, Xabier Lete, Iñaki Eizmendi and Amaia Zubiria . The rest, what was said, was interpreted with a soft cadence of American affiliation, good vocalization, artistic inspiration, connection with the Basque lyrical repertoire and general authenticity.


The first parliament of Atxaga, with the band waiting.
The first parliament of Atxaga, with the band waiting. / OSCAR CUBILLO

Of the eleven pieces performed, the six most beautiful and the best fit were a silky ‘Zaharra zara Bilbo’, by Gari (with lyrics by Jon Maia), a floating one a la Ted Hawkins and Lou Reed ‘Kantu eroa’ by JC Perez solo or after Itoiz (with good scores from Ecay), a country fit for a neat honky tonk ‘Berreziketaren zailtasunari buruz’ by Ruper Ordorika (with lyrics by the German poet and essayist Hans Magnus Enzensberger), one of the most accomplished songs and acquaintances of Jabier Muguruza, the reflective, afro and kikovenenosa ‘Mazisi Okeita Denbelek’ (with lyrics by Atxaga), and the last two of the evening: another soulera review with Ted Hawkins soul for ‘Badira hiru aste’ by Mikel Urdangarin, and the bluesy goodbye Neville Brothers wave to ‘Krokodil’ by the ineffable Niko Etxart.

AND the others were not bad, let’s underline. Among greetings to Jonan Ordorika (Ruper’s brother and in charge of the sound desk) and Iñaki Irazu (José Irazu’s brother, alias Bernardo Atxaga; by the way, Iñaki Irazu signs the lyrics of the brand-new album by Jabier Muguruza, for children and entitled ‘ Oker ‘), a heartfelt dedication to Uxue Muguruza, sitting in the front row (she is the daughter of Íñigo, the late younger brother of Jabier and Fermín Muguruza, who died on September 5, 2019, at age 54, due to multiple sclerosis) and the recognition of the technicians and other currelas in the concert, the other five pieces of this Basque selection were falling, which were the opening of Mikel Laboa (‘Antzinako bihotz’, with text by Atxaga), a very relaxed and, believe it, very Alternative country by Oskorri (‘Gaztelugatxe’, with lyrics by Natxo de Felipe), a dark one, in a minor key, by Anari (‘(H) erra kanta’, with touches from Marlango and the aforementioned Gari), a pop adaptation for Benito Lertxundi (‘Oi lur, oi lur’), ​​and a mutation with such relaxation of Neg u Gorriak who looked like from the Cowboy Junkies (‘Hemen izango bazina’).

Hopefully Jabier can repeat this repertoire more times, but with the uncertainty in which we live, why consider it.


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