Friday, July 13, 2012

Manuel Velera Cuban Express @ Drom 6/23/12

At first I was into it.  I've seen him a few times now and always enjoyed it in the past.  For some reason it wasn't quite doing it for me this night.  I know the guitar player kept asking the sound guy for changes, so perhaps it was the sound on my end.  I realized if I left I had time to get to Jazz Gallery and it seemed like it would be more what I was in the mood for.

The listing:
Dubbed “Jazz Cubano for Modern Times,” comprised of six prominent young musicians and lead by Cuban jazz pianist and composer Manuel Valera, this working band features original material and a contemporary compositional take on the music of the island of Cuba and showcases music from the new release.
The lineup includes pianist and bandleader Manuel Valera (Paquito D’Rivera, Dafnis Prieto, Arturo Sandoval), saxophonist Yosvany Terry (Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Steve Coleman), drummer Eric Doob (Miguel Zenon), bassist John Benitez (John Scofield, Chick Corea), guitarist Tom Guarna (Blood Sweat & Tears, Billy Drummond Trio) and percussionist Mauricio Herrera (Bryan Lynch, Spanish Harlem Orchestra). 
This dynamic and prolific artist has recorded six cds as a bandleader. His critically acclaimed debut cd Forma Nueva featuring John Patitucci, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez Bill Stewart and Seamus Blake—which received nationwide radio airplay and garnered strong reviews in the jazz and music press Billboard, Jazztimes, Jazziz, All Music Guide and Latin Beat among others. Historia, a jazz quartet recording for Fresh Sounds New Talent followed in 2005. Then in 2006 Melancolia—which employed a string quartet incorporating world rhythms and classical concepts in the jazz idiom that opened up new vistas of compositional colors and textures across the full range of Valera’s sources. In 2007, Vientos represented a new working quartet, featuring bassist James Genus, drummer Ernesto Simpson, saxophonist Joel Frahm and a woodwind quartet. His fifth major recording and most recent trio work, Currents, was released on MaxJazz in 2009 featuring Ernesto Simpson and James Genus.

1 comment:

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