"Without being too superstitious about it, Musica Para un Dragon Dormido (music for a sleeping dragon), is a reference to the Chinese horoscope as we contemplate 2012, the year of the Dragon. During 2012 I became the father of a little 'dragon', and being an older dragon myself, this event made think about the strong connection with this new creature, and the huge footprint that year left on my being," said Teubal. When the pianist released previous recordings he defined the music as "Argentine jazz", which to him meant, original compositions using elements and rhythms from Argentinean music, plus improvisation. He feels that, "this label it's not accurate for this album. Of course I hear a lot of Argentinean influences on it: Un simple Objeto has a strong Chacarera flavor (chacarera is a folkloric Rhythm from the north of Argentina). The Constant Reinventor has a 'bordoneo,' (a guitar-like figure very common in Tango music) and several other typical things from Tango music, etc," explained Teubal.
For Teubal, however, the stylistic accuracy of these Argentinean elements is not the goal on Musica Para un Dragon Dormido, it's just one of the many habitants coexisting in the music. That artistic clarity gave him the freedom to include elements from other world music, and also kept him wide open to what these amazing musicians heard in his music, without being stylistically rigid about it. "I am very happy with the final result. The music still sounds Argentinean but it has a strong cosmopolitan New York sound in it, with strong hints from other world music. At the end of the day we are all coexisting in this city, and on this album, bringing our own influences to the palette and creating a new sound fed by all those influences."
Un Simple Objeto (a simple object) makes reference to a peculiar compositional event that can trigger an endless flow of other ideas, sometimes more interesting than the initial motif. It's fascinating that sometimes the original idea ends up being left out of the tune. The Constant Reinventor was composed at the beginning of 2011 as a way to motivate myself and to keep my band alive in the middle of a dark NY winter. El Tema de Ludmila is a tune I composed for my niece Ludmila when she was born. It's also the title of beautiful song by whom I consider to be the best songwriter from Argentina, Luis Alberto Spinetta; unfortunately also in this year of the Dragon, Spinetta passed away, so this tune is my homage to one of my all time idols. El Acrobata is a chamber- like piece with a very atmospheric vibe. This tune really came alive when I heard Erik blowing on it, and it was composed for him. The title track, Un Dragon Dormido,is a great platform for a nice collective improvisation, and a tune that gave me the confidence to let go and realize that when you are around superb improvisers, the music finds its way by itself. La Espera: (the wait) was composed in the summer of 2010 right after Argentinean soccer team got eliminated once again from the world cup. Nikko: I composed this tune with ECM artist Nik Bartsch in mind. The tune has a coda that is one of my favorite moments of the whole album; somehow it differentiates from the Nik Bartsch style and jumps into a more balkanic vibe. La Perla (the pearl): I start composing this tune in The Pearl, Qatar, while doing a month-long 'forgettable' gig back in May 2011. I always liked duos and trios of clarinets and flutes, and I felt that with Sam Sadigursky I had the perfect guy for doing this, as he would play/read/interpret anything I wrote. In Spanish we make reference to la perla (the pearl) as kind of the fruit on the cake; that last magic touch. The coda is the pearl of this tune, and the tune is the pearl of the record. Milonga para Terminar (milonga to finish): Milonga is the faster cousin of the Tango and has an Afro influence derived from its other cousin, el Candombe (from the Rio De la Plata-Uruguay-Argentina). The idea for this tune came to me the day before a gig while I contemplated what to play if they asked me for an encore; so since then it has become the perfect finale with all the requirements for an encore, a collective solo, a drum solo, and a super fast ending in the style of Hermeto Pascoal. It also worked nicely to finish the CD (with some humor), leaving no doubts that, it's OVER.
Pianist/Composer Emilio Teubal was born in Madrid, Spain in 1976. At that time, his parents were in exile from the dictatorship government in Argentina. After a year in Spain, the whole family moved to Mexico City where they spent five years. In 1984, with the return of the democracy, his family moved back to Argentina. Once in Buenos Aires, Teubal started playing the piano at the age of nine. He studied at the National Conservatory, and composition, arranging, and orchestration with private teachers. He was a very active performer in the tango and jazz scene of Buenos Aires until 1999, when he relocate to New York City to continue his musical studies, earning a BFA in Music from the City College of New York, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He also received the Bushwick Composition Award for two consecutive years. At CCNY his teachers included prominent jazz figures such as Marc Copland, Scott Reeves, Bruce Barth, Mike Holober, John Patitucci, Cliff Korman and Ron Carter.
Emilio has performed as a leader in some of the most prestigious venues in New York City, among them the Iridium, Joe's Pub, the Knitting Factory, BAM cafe , Cornelia Street Cafe, the 55 Bar, as well as major jazz festivals. In 2007, Emilio was awarded Meet The Composer's prestigious Van Lier Fellowship, which provides support for talented, culturally diverse young people who are seriously dedicated to a career in the arts.
His credits include performances and recordings with artists like the Grammy award winners Raul Jaurena and Fernando Otero, Erik Friedlander, Hector del Curto, Bob Mover, John Benitez, Lucia Pulido, Pedro Giraudo, Lisandro Adrover, Miguel Bertero, and Astor Piazolla's legendary violinist Fernando Suarez Paz. Teubal has also been a steady member of different New York based bands like Sebastian Cruz's Coba, and Los Chantas Tango Group, and the Marta Gomez Group, with whom he has toured the U.S., Mexico, Spain and Argentina.