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Xavi Reija biography
Xavi REIJA is a Spanish drummer born in 1972 in Barcelona. He began his musical studies at the age of 19 and finished among others Berklee College of Music in 1999 and since then worked mostly as a session musician with a lot of jazz related bands and other internationally known prolific artists such as Gary WILLIS of TRIBAL TECH and Steve HOGARTH of MARILLION to name a few from the progressive rock scene. Around 2004 he started working as band leader in the form of his projects like DX and the other simply named XAVI REIJA ELECTRIC QUINTET from which he regularly kept in the line-up the bassist Bernat HERNANDEZ (student of Gary WILLIS) and the Serbian jazz rock guitarist Dusan JEVTOVIĆ. This is the trio that worked on his recent album 'Resolution' in 2014 which REIJA dedicated to his father Joseph REIJA. In the projects he led he plays a fresh sound of fusion mimicking music like post rock, but besides his solo discography he is still a very active live performer in other bands and an author and instructor for playing the drums on the side.

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Moonjune Records 2014
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XAVI REIJA discography

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Dream Land
3.00 | 1 ratings
3.62 | 6 ratings
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The Sound of the Earth

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Showing last 10 reviews only
 Resolution by REIJA, XAVI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.62 | 6 ratings

Xavi Reija Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by memowakeman
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Review originally posted at

Warning: I warn you friends, about my lack of knowledge about drums and its techniques, styles and players, probably drums are my least favorite instrument in a regular band, and though I am aware of its value, it is difficult for me to listen and review music where drums play the main role.

Having said that, I thank again Leonardo from Moonjune Records for introducing me to Xavi Reija, a Spanish talented musician, a drummer who has been willing to spread his tunes in other countries, and whose first album "Resolution" saw the light this year, and it is receiving good criticism nowadays. Well, I'll do my best for this review, but remember what I said first. For this album, Reija plays with a couple of friends, that as a power trio, offer a long album where drums rule, but when a salad of sounds and styles can be perceived.

Its first track is "Flying to Nowhere" which sounds like a jam in the first moments, with a delicate sound in which guitars stand out, above drums and bass; but after a couple of minutes, the sound gets louder and even rockier, so the three instruments now take the attention of the listener. There is a pause, and the structure begins again, I am not that fan of that pause, I think the beauty of the music was dissolved, and though later they put the sufficient energy that made me feel pleased, I blame that pause to not make me qualify this as a fabulous track.

In "Macroscope" one can feel now the role of the drummer as the main character, though later bass and guitar appear and put their great grain of sand, Reija play his drums and put different figures all over the song (please, my apologies, I know nothing about drum termination, so I cannot explain more precisely). Well, the first part becomes a ghost after some minutes, where a kind of distorted guitar takes the leadership and brings a truly strange passage, which to my ears, is completely unnecessary. Then the trio returns and creates new rhythms and figures, with a more solid and freer drummer. The next song is "Shadow Dance", and when I listen to it, I start thinking the album was recorded from improvisations and jams, though I am not sure if they actually composed and created structures, of they just let the music fly and flow. Anyway, the melody does not exist here, so after a minute I felt lost, and never recovered my interest in this particular track.

"Dreamer" is one of the longest songs here. The percussion sound is repetitive, but this time addictive, so it does not matter what the other instruments do, the strange noises they create, my head keeps moving. Minutes later the music becomes louder, like drone and crazy, it cannot be described with a single musical label, the noise/sound is there, you just have to decide if you take it or leave it. I liked it, but it is not definitely something easy to dig. Next one is "Abyss" and I thing there is something common in most (if not all) of the songs, there are loads of stops and pauses, which honestly damage my listening pleasure, so the music is fractured and fragmented that I sometimes lose some of the pieces, and never manage to gather them again. This happened to me with this track.

"Unfinished Love" is more interesting, rockier, with punch and energy. This time the song does have a rhythm, so one can feel it and move the body. I like the strings, though their sound is distorted on purpose, it sounds clean. "The John's Song" follows the same style, actually it could be a second part of Unfinished Love, due to that distorted sound of the bass, and the same rhythm and figures produced by drums. After two and a half minutes the mandatory pause appears, and cuts the power and the emotion that was previously built. I am sorry Xavi, but with these pauses my interest decreases, no matter the last minutes are powerful again.

The sound in resolution is different, constant drums as background, while soft bass lines accompany and the guitar notes sound every here and there. The sound is almost quiet, but it never ceases, we are always listening to something, those strings that produce a nervous sound, and that drums that make enigmatic nuances. A strange track, again not easy to dig, but I liked it.

"Gravity" is the longest song, and it also brings intermittent noises, a guitar here, a bass there, while drums constantly plays. Seems the trio is having fun, enjoying the jam, but there is a point when it becomes difficult for the listener, in my case, I found several moments in this piece and in other songs, where I just wanted to skip them. But well, maybe for drummers this might be more interesting in a professional way. The last song is "Welcome to the End" and I cannot deny that my mind says "yeeeeah, at last", I am not a man who loves long albums, there are some outstanding ones that no matter its length, I can listen to them over and over, but this one has been really tough, it is so long, and difficult to enjoy.

I have no doubt that Xavi Reija and his trio are talented musicians, but the music offered here is not something I would truly suggest, as much as I tried, I can easily say I did not like it, but well, you know music is a matter of tastes. Hope some of you readers, have a different experience and help these guys approach success.

Enjoy it!

 Resolution by REIJA, XAVI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.62 | 6 ratings

Xavi Reija Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by Windhawk
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars Spanish drummer Xavi REIJA is an established fixture in the Spanish music scene, and rather renowned as well, if I have understood the descriptions of him correctly. He has a recording history going back a decade or thereabouts with two full length albums to his name with a quintet, two more albums as part of a project and a group respectively, as well as a book and a DVD. He is also a drum teacher giving regular and online classes. "Resolution" is Xavi's third full length production, his first proper solo album. It was released through Moonjune Records in the spring of 2014.

Instrumental music residing in the borderlands between jazz and rock with a liberal amount of experimental details, textured guitars with drone-like qualities and what sounds like a fairly improvisational approach is what Xavi Reija along with his musical partners Dusan Jevtovic and Bernat Hernandez provides us with on "Resolution". While not a production I feel will have a broad appeal, it is a recording well worth investigating if you have a deep affection for music that transcends boundaries and established conceptions, especially if you are fond of music of that kind that has a fairly dark overall mood.

 Resolution by REIJA, XAVI album cover Studio Album, 2014
3.62 | 6 ratings

Xavi Reija Jazz Rock/Fusion

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Prog Team

4 stars Xavi is recognized as being one of Spain's top jazz drummers, and over the last fifteen years has built his reputation by working with artists such Steve Hogarth (Marillion), Gary Willis (Tribal Tech), Monica Green (The Supremes), Caco Senante, O 'Funk'illo and Pep Sala Joaquin Calderon. But he has also been working on his own bands, releasing 'Two Sides' with DX Project, two albums with the Xavi Reija Electric Quintet as well as trimming that down to the Xavi Reija Electric Trio who prior to this had released a DVD. Now he is back, again in a trio environment, with Bernat Hernández on bass, and Dusan Jevtović on guitars. Bernat also played with Dusan on the latter's album 'Am I Walking Wrong' which was released last year.

When I first started listening to jazz as a child, it was bands led by drummers that I became most interested in, and the very first jazz album I ever bought with my own money was by Gene Krupa. There is something about music being geared towards the complexity and freedom that comes from a powerhouse at the back that really lifts the overall, and if you normally listen to metal then you would have to agree that Testament's recent stunning live opus just wouldn't be half as dynamic if Gene Hoglan wasn't behind the kit. Only four of these compositions are group numbers, with the other seven all scored by Xavi, but the common theme throughout is the sheer amount of space that these guys have given themselves to work with. That they are all stunning musicians are never in doubt, but they know the importance of simplicity as well as complexity, and know the right time to deliver what is required, with fuzzed distortion adding to the overall sound.

The three musicians work off each other, and the result is an avant garde album that combines improvisation with funk and melody, distortion and feedback with clean struck notes, polyrhythmic sounds with simple timekeeping, so much so that the listener never really knows what is coming next. A very strong production tops off yet another incredibly strong release from the Moonjune label.

Thanks to historian9 for the artist addition.

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