A bolero is a familiar nocturnal melody, fragrant and fruity. It can make you cry, worship, embrace like ivy. It can extinguish a burning love that brings more suffering than loving; make you forget about time, the world and everything in it; show you the light on the other side of the moon; remove the imprint of old kisses with kisses from other mouths; ask a clock to stop ticking. A bolero is a last chance to slash your wrists with the edge of a metaphor before doing it with a bread knife.
That is what the songs recreated by Tete Montoliu and Mayte Martín are and do. Two beings made of music; born for bolero from the day they met. Even before meeting Tete, Mayte had learned to say “corason” and “desesperasion”. Because the years of living and breathing flamenco, her music, and travelling to the most southern tip of her sentiments, had softened her consonants and made her passions more intense.
And long before he met Mayte, who came into this world 32 years after him, Tete had been searching for the secrets of jazz between the keys of his piano and telling tales of new and superior emotions. But one fortuitous night they met, formed a musical duo and began their own bolero, written, as all boleros are, with surprises and outbursts, fights, distances and reunions, just like the ones they have etched on this album.
A bolero is a stormy sea, and to avoid being shipwrecked you have to know how to navigate it; how to swim in its dreams and recover from its disappointments. Mayte does so illuminated by the mighty stream of her cantaora voice, as the young lady of the song, and Tete with the abyssal perspective of his piano, which, in the darkness, discovers new depths of beauty, lost notes, arcones that hide the works of Miró in the folds of a melody.
This album is like the treasure chest of an old galleon, sunk, in warm waters, by the weight of its sentiment, and settled in a place where even the fishes get drunk and write verses. And when its lid is lifted it reveals a magical treasure, the sparkling reflections of a night when Mayte sang the passions, eyes closed, Tete played them with fingers splayed, and everyone recognised pieces of their life in the music.
Jordi Saladrigas, 1996