When forming this band, Javier, Jake, Gustavo, and Ben put their usual musical abilities aside. The music invited a different set of assumptions and insights to be discovered, manifested, and woven into the band’s sound. The result is a music that is intuitive but also, seductively puzzling. As Javier stated: “it is like re-discovering musical intuition”. That is what makes listening to this band so exciting.  

Life & Umbrella is the latest release from Chicago-based pianist and composer Javier Red. Across twelve ambitious and complex compositions, Red divulges the profound reception of his son’s autism diagnosis alongside his daring four-piece ensemble Imagery Converter. 

The potent working unit returns on its sophomore project here with drummer Gustavo Cortinas, bassist Ben Dillinger, saxophonist Jake Wark and Red at the helm. In 2019, Imagery Converter gained notoriety after its eponymous debut release, which was lauded by critics and named to NPR Jazz Critics’ Best Debut Albums of 2019. Leaning thoroughly on a contemporary aesthetic, the band is bounded by a collective approach to blurring the lines of composition and improvisation. Now, with the release of Life & Umbrella, Red maneuvers that familiar territory with meaningful introspection.

Javier Red- Piano

Gustavo Cortiñas-Drums

Jake Wark-Tenor Saxophone

Ben Dillinger-Bass

Photo by Paul Crisanti