Musical Biography

At the end of the fifties, appearing in the downtown of Cordoba some kind of nightclubs named boîtes, where the music of that period began to begins to be heard.  I talk about the bossa, blues, jazz and other styles emerged from the latter, rock and roll and soul, as were also jazz-children the ’60s pop and ’70s rock, which performed Credence, Doors, Rolling Stones, Who, Lord Zeppelling, Buffallo Springfield, Crosby, Stills and Nash … among others.  Among this imported music the rock drew firstly their attention. Obviously what happened in the 50s and 60s go unnoticed because of their young age.

        At thirteen, three after receiving his first lessons, and was part of a band named “Quinto escalón”. When he was fifteen played the lead guitar  of “Trócola”,  one of the leading bands  of that time. They met to “work” around the Jewish Quarter, next to the town-walls. In both groups, the shelter and teachings of his older brother, Paco, were determining factors in this early stage of musical development.

        Besides he started to practice rock music in this emblematic place, there his first classical compositions were inspired, little- songs which still keep but that it did not fully satisfied because of special personality with a restless soul, creative and passionate as well as his their propensity to a free music performance. He needed the music that inspired her emotional state at all times to play it without limitations.

        At the same time, when this happened, was at high school as a scholarship holder at “La Salle” school,  where simultaneous different sports (football and athletics) with the music of his school-band named “rondalla” (it is a small musical group of serenaders boys at school which use stringed instruments). 

         Being medical student defray  the studies with that collected in the  serenades of the named “Tuna Universitaria” (Musical band of serenaders at College), of which he was a founding member and bandurria (mandolin-like), whose musical director, the prestigious and Laureate Rafael González, teaches music theory, an important step in the achievement of the objectives which he is particularly concerned.

           In 1978, that is, when he was 23, he was a younger Physician that had obtained an Award for the Best Student of the Year,  immediately entering the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid to make the specialty of Internal Medicine and do his PhD over a field that he loved deeply for being a constant challenge, the diabetes disease, all after feintingspecialize in Cardiology. Later we’ll see how he looks carefully along of its career to finish linking the three specialties.  

          As seen, the friendship is not precisely what has moved me proclaim the exemplary behavior of his career, from the levels of the hardcore that puts in everything he does,  that make of him, without doubt, a “role model“, particularly for those who decide to undertake the difficult path of music and decide to access to his music web.

         His final move to Madrid will again test their ability to work, theirnonconformism wit the status quo, their ability to face to the challenges, particularly in his work as an internist and diabetologist, focusing on the past 20 years his clinical and research activity to “endothelium”, the inner layer of the arteries, that from a mere definition in Biology will become, in its original and pioneering approach, in the essential object of his study as a key factor in the genesis and evolution of vascular disease associated with various diseases, diabetes is precisely their disease prototype. 

     This jump from biology to the clinic result to be a unprecedented milestone in Spanish Medicine, a consequence of his tenacity, between incomprehension and the problems it brings edgy line care in a hospital; problems, predictably in it, not prevent him from feeling completely fulfilled and rewarded and besides being completely dedicated to the hard task of serving their patients.

      In 2OOO the Dr is Head & Coordinator of the Endothelium & Cardiometabolic Medicine Unit and a constant obsession: the prevention of myocardial infarction, although no nomination has been formally recognized in the organization of the hospital, but this anomaly is not object of concern for him nor he discourages for it. 

        As a lover of teaching exercises  as Associate Professor at the Medicine College of Alcala de Henares from the year 1989. Respect to the postgraduate physician, writes and publishes the texts,  printed by Editorial Santos Diaz, in 2009 and 2012 respectively, with the titles: “Control Global Cardiometabolic Risk “(first and only treatise in Spanish language about  a new kind of medicine, named Cardiometabolic Medicine), and” Management of Hyperglycemia in the Hospital Setting”, the only book that accurately addresses the importance of glucose control in hospitalized patients

         With both books reached professional maturity because both are innovative and somehow provocative too, opening the eyes of the young doctors to the importance of why of the diseases, prevention of complications, earlier diagnosis, the early treatment, continuous monitoring of the patient and especially with an ambivalent view, looking not only to the past and history but more importantly, the future, as the god Janus did in ancient Rome. This look to the future is a permanent obsession in your work. So, his futuristic vision has led very recently to create a line of work on food, supplements and food supplements and their relationship to the endothelium and cardiometabolic health, which has been immediately echoed by much ofthe national press

       So here, briefly, his career since the beginning of the studies in his native Cordoba. A brilliant career, as consequence of hard-work, perseverance, sacrifice, of their no nonconformism wit the status quo , than I reiterate by the way  because it is the key of the achievements in any field in which we pose our challenges.

        His alter ego since he was a child, the musician, is still there, in the depths of his creative sensibility. When the daily office,  the meetings or medical congress,  the teaching,  or theirs interventions in TV, radio and press leave him free,  he always finds the time to “shelter onseself” in his guitar to study, improvise and make plans.

         Now he has no limitations, or the lack of resources of his youth. He can access to new opportunities to learn, to make music with professionals who will teach him something new, something more … only his “handicap” is time, or rather, the lack of time.

         In a short-period of time of inactivity with the guitar when he was 24, he studied keyboard as a way to access to knowledge of musical harmony, because as they say, “on the piano harmony can see before your eyes while in guitar that costs  much  more and often have to imagine it. “At age 25 takes up again the 6 strings instrument and now he never will leave it.  Soon is incorporated,  as lead guitar, to pop-rock, rock, blues, soul, funk, or reggae bands such as Rojo Congo, Soulfinger, Dark Soul or Berlin Blues for which he composed some songs.

       Towards 2oo8 year he came to consider as “minor” the musical styles played in his band when it were compared with jazz and bossa who had studied for many years and he decided to leave the band to devote himself entirely to these styles complex, with the horizon put in education. Surely, the learning of music theory and harmony in the year 90 with Ernesto Diaz “Pachu” (disciple of José Luis Valderrama,  graduated in harmony by Berkeley) in his Alternative Music School, decisively influenced in this selection but mostly was their work outside of school, and therefore self-taught, the most influential in the José Sabán as a musician.

         Thus, in 94 leaves MUsical School, dissatisfied with the mechanical scales and progressions, to continue studying music directly from the sources, topics standars of Real Book (also named “The Bible of alternative music”), playing tunes daily and analyzing the chords and harmony of the greatest composers of the History of Music, which venerates, talk about Duke Ellington, George Gerswin, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin, Richard Rogers, Fred E Ahlert, Glenn Miller, Jerome Kern, John Coltrane, John Lewis, Johnny Green, Mc David, Thelonious Monk, Vernon Duke, Victor Young, Wayne Shorter, Billy Strayhorn, Jobim, Carlos Lyra, Roberto Menascal or Luiz Bonfa.

      Harmonic analysis of these masterpieces is considered by the Dr as essential to understand what is played and to study and compare the musical evolution of the different decades, the birth and evolution of jazz and bossa, distinguishing nuances in music composition from different authors and beyond, the analysis of other musical styles, including jazz-related music (blues, rock, rock and roll, soul) and distant styles such as Jamaican Music (ska, rocksteady, reggae, dub) and the flamenco music, probably the furthest style from the jazz music, despite a lot of musicians intend to fuse.

       Given the foregoing, the decision of 2008 was the result of a restless soul and a change in mentality, consequence of  his musical maturity, gestated for 18 years. The amazing thing about the biography of Dr is the overlap in time between professional maturity of Medicine and its fullness as a musician and especially as a musicologist.

       In the past five years, he worked in duet with contrabass players, known national or local level,  as Toño de Miguel and Rafael Fernandez Gil and other lesser known but equally efficient and rigorous, as Javier Liaño and Thomas Kortman. Of all learned to internalize the propermeasure of beat , which allowed him to play well with a simple guitar such complex music (jazz & bossa) designed to play in a combo or band, without losing the tempo of each song, and put in their videos original break that achieves striking the strings with the right hand while the left remains blocked or mutated to achieve a striking “drums effect” which I’ve had the pleasure and surprise of listening.              

      To this burden of knowledge adds of their harvest two original nuances: the adornments in solos with chords in a pianistic-style and permanent resource of blues, using the blues scale notes on relative minor mode of the key in question to get a jazz style with personality and easier learning than complex and sophisticated solos of the jazz masters guitar players, a kind of solos that often impact to guitarists in training but do not always get to all kinds of public.

         For over 20 years, every day, study 500 jazz and 150 bossa standars that he considers essentials, limiting to 170 and 55 respectively, which he show us playing the guitar, one after another, on this website, with the peculiarity that each of the songs are performed without interruption. It is well known that difference in audio recordings, which allowed the “typical splices, at video sessions this is not possible.  

         This selection is itself a repertoire of that, at least numerically, not all professionals have and that from now on, it make up a video collection, with very explicit images on the web, that this indefatigableworker, meticulous,  this … doctor-musician or musician-doctor (I doubt that personality precedes the other) offers guitarists determined to learn and at the same time it can be used by other instrumentalists. Each standard performance follow closely the sheet music of Real Book and it facilitates the following of each chorus by all kinds of musician interested in them.

        I need finish but I will not do it without before tie the  “loose end” which I mentioned at the beginning of this “compressed” biography, relating to our protagonist with Flamenco Music,  although this kind music is not an issue of this website, but is one piece of the puzzle of his musical personality.

       That seed that, almost without realizing it, was deposited “weightless”, “softly”, on the sensitivity of the boy who was then in the “corralas meetings”,  in the social gathering  of a corner or square in his neighborhood, that kind of music,  now defined by him rightly as pure and racial,  it was kept very deeply there .. where we kept the things that we really want.

      Music that,  some musicians  have abused with what have been called “fusion”, rightly regret our Dr. I think as him in this kind o music is very distant from that felt and transmitted by the masters of their land such as El Pele, Talegón, Fosforito … naming just some of them.

      Dr. Sabán analyzes and interprets this complex  music in his work titled  “Harmonic Bases of Flamenco Guitar”,  book of small size and dense content with a good reception inside our country and better out of it, as usual. The lack of reliable references, absent in libraries emblematic cities of Flamenco Music such as Córdoba, Seville, Cadiz, Jerez, Huelva, Malaga, Granada .. almost became “mission impossible” the realization of a project that tried to vindicate a music as ours, with dignity and rigour that it deserves.

       The author focus on this complex task to gratified their own concerns about it;  it may be said that he writes to him and once finished then he placed his work at the disposal of those who demanded it; continues in this field the same guidelines as when he set to work on the texts of medicine has published: researches, collects data, sorts and … when left to their liking, the public.

     In their eagerness to know more, not matter to be an simple apprentice and so attend to classes of flamenco guitar with Miguel Linares and Juan Moreno Molinillo “Moli” to improve their flamenco practice. The end result is a work round which rigorously analyzes the harmony of flamenco from the strictest orthodoxy, completing the passion and enthusiasm that have reported only “flamenco performers” with no academic knowledge of this subject. And for those who my words have awaken their interest in this great little book, it may be found in the well-known bookstore “El Flamenco Vive” or also online, on / or Publissing Trafford Publishing.

            Is shocking the difference between the book acceptance in foreign markets and in our country, as a consequence, without doubt, of the level of musical knowledge. So there is a big contrast between the knowledge of foreigner musicians and the paucity of studies in a most of musician in Spain.  Perhaps our flamenco guitar players, with great effort, achieve a sound and a “beat” more genuine or authentic but their resources will always be limited in creativity against those who surpass them in knowledge, which enable them to make transpositions, walk theguitar-neck without hesitation, use less capos, improvise, arrange songs and play in combo or band, in short, be a better musician.

         Recognition of this book abroad is evident when contained in the Haus der Musik in Vienna and the National Libraries of Houston and New Yorck, where besides you can also purchase it in the largest library in the City of Skyscrapers,  in Colony Records in Manhattan, just steps from Times Squeare.

       From the San Lorenzo to the streets of Manhattan the name of José Ruiz Sabán has traveled a very long distance, as much as what there is since the expectations of that youngster responsible and compliant to the physician of recognized prestige and musician indisputable that is today.

      So, if our protagonist have left a mark  in you, if you are tired of “music schools” now, take your instrument, access the web, try, work, and have fun while learning. I myself, despite my years, I used to enjoy playing the computer because, for lack of time, I could not benefit from the knowledge of this great man whose friendship I am honored.                 

                                     Domingo Chuliá