Some kind of trip around Colombia through jazz, an indirect approach to the South American country’s folk music via contemporary music. These two sentences summarize the essence of an album in which Colombian saxophonist Antonio Arnedo meets some New York based musicians to create their unique version of cumbias, pasillos, and other rhythms from the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts, and the Andes region.
Most of the songs are Arnedo’s compositions except for two traditional songs from local folk artists. In some of them Antonio, who is mainly an alto and soprano player, introduces the gaita, a long wooden flute used in cumbia and other rhythms from the north, and a wooden flute used in the south of the country. Other musicians also play Colombian instruments. Satoshi Takeishi uses a non traditional drum set composed by pieces from different parts of the world and plays a marimba de Chonta, and instrument which sound is very similar to the African balafon. And Bruce Saunders plays the tiple, a twelve-string guitar from the Andes. Though the sound of the album is far from being ethnic. Arnedo’s compositions and sax playing is nearer to the avant-garde jazz that Ben Monder, Chris Dahlgren usually play.
This is a good example of Colombia’s contemporary music. A good example of the music a growing jazz movement which looks into traditional rhythms looking for a unique sound. And a complete different way to do cumbia-jazz fusion.
Track Listing: Alegre
Personnel: Antonio Arnedo