JAVIER VERCHER (1978) BIOGRAPHY by MICHAEL HILL
Tenor saxophonist Javier Vercher, is a pure-hearted jazz man, whose approach embraces both the avant-garde and the old school. The Williamsburg, Brooklyn émigré relishes free playing for its unpredictability and intuitiveness, the feeling of discovery, and the instant rapport with his fellow players. But his gradually unfolding soundscapes also have an emotional gravity to them and, at times, a palpable sense of the spiritual. Each is a wordless narrative; the starting point is often real life.
One of his songs,“Wish You Were Here,” for example, was inspired by his recent travels through South America backing up Pop Star Alejandro Sanz. It also serves as one of the tracks for Vercher’s self-produced new album, I Wish You Were Here. Vercher leads an impressive line-up of bold-faced names, indicative of how highly he has come to be regarded in New York City’s jazz community. Joining him are bassist Larry Grenadier, guitarist Lionel Loueke, pianist Sam Yahel and drummer Francisco Mela, along with other guest players. Vercher penned all the tracks except “Vivi,” composed by Loueke.
Vercher has already cultivated a serious buzz overseas, especially in Europe and South America, via extensive touring and festival dates with various jazz combos. The Village Voice has described Vercher as “a feisty player, willing to get bruised up a bit for his art.” He’s released three albums on the Fresh Sounds label. Introducing Javier Vercher, is a trio date with special contributions from pianist Robert Glasper and drummer Bob Moses. His second, The Wheel of Time, is a collaboration with drummer Ferenc Nementh, featuring such guest stars as guitarist Loueke and legendary sixties songwriter Chip Taylor. The Third one is Infinita. Reviewing one of the albums mentioned (Wheel of Time), All About Jazz declared, “The setting is simple: saxophone, drums/percussion, and occasional guitar; but the results are profound and from the start it's clear that this is something different.”