From the fiery crucible of creativity comes "The Salamander Project" a unique Classical and Jazz inspired Duo that was born from the collaboration of British musician Augustus Black on piano and US/Ecuadorean musician Nestor Zurita on saxophone.


Vital Signs

Nestor Zurita and Augustus Black

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'Vital Signs' is a varied and rich introduction to the 'third stream' classical & jazz influenced music of The Salamander Project. It pulls no punches in its use of extreme timbres, and advanced harmonies and rhythms, but this is always offset by more emotionally direct material. It takes the open-eared listener on a musical journey that includes many shades of mood and intensities of emotion. It is unconventional at times, but where it breaks the rules, there is always a definite purpose behind it. This is a duo that aims to carry the listener with them - to unknown and fascinating places. And they use the full range of acoustic, electro-acoustic, and electronic sounds to achieve that aim. The effect of the music can be powerful and visceral, and then by turns lyrical and romantic, funky and intense, or cool and cerebral. Nothing is off limits, but there is a discipline in their approach, the rhythm is played with passionate intensity, and maintaining maximum musicality while stretching the forms is a fundamental rule. This is the first of a landmark series of releases from Nestor Zurita & Augustus Black. They sincerely hope you will listen to and follow the whole series. There will be plenty of surprises along the way.

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The new ‘third stream’! It is unusual to hear such a seamless blend of diametrically opposed aesthetics, Classical and Jazz. There is something of the grand manner in both elements, but something very new in the way they complement one other.”

— Guy Fairbrother: International Jazz Times

At last, some intelligent, hip new music for thinking people - Bravo - a duo to watch.”

— Ralph Novak: Freelance journalist

The Salamander Project, an unfamiliar duo to this writer, return to an older oevre here, where one art form attempts to interpret or translate the essence of another. That it succeeds so markedly is testament to this duos rare abilities, and also presents a wake-up call to the devotees of simplistic ‘new tonalism’ and rhythmically dull minimalism; here is all of the harmonic richness and rhythmic intelligence one should expect of globally aware, progressive 21st Century musicians working in the postcolonial era.”

— Nathan Watkins: Critical Review