Hilario Duran Trio: Motion (2010)
Duran's father, Hilario Duran Sr., was part of the "Movimiento del 'Feeling'" (The Feeling Movement) in Cuba, and regularly met with other musicians including Omara Portundo. The younger Duran, who began playing the piano by ear when he was eight, got his first lead sheet from Portundo.
Though he was surrounded by Cuban musicians and initially came under their influence, Duran had an open vision that took him into the realm of Roy Eldridge, Keith Jarrett, Harry James and Tchaikovsky. The expanse of genres and styles has seeped into his music, giving him a vantage point that oversees his compositions.
After making his mark in Cubafirst with the Los Papa Cun-Cun Ensemble and then with the Orchestra Cubana de Musica, where he replaced Chucho ValdesDuran made his first visit to Toronto at the invitation of saxophonist Jane Bunnett, relocating permanently in 1998. From that time on he has become a staple of the Canadian music scene, with personal appearances and records setting the mark for his success, with Motion adding one more resplendent notch.
Duran has the perfect soul mates in drummer Mark Kelso and bassist Roberto Occhipinti. The empathy between them is not only the key to resolution; it helps take the music to an enthralling high.
Duran is agile, switching tempo to perfection to infuse artful mood swings. Initially playful on "It's Only Seven," he changes pulse; and, so, space gives way to a welter of notes, and thoughtful progressions dissolve into lithe melodic lines. Kelso uses the cymbals to add vibrant colors, while Occhipinti plugs the beat and finds room for a quick solo spot. Their voices are eloquent and the tune becomes the herald for more marvelous music.
Track Listing: It's Only Seven; Conversation With a Lunatic; Havana City; For Emiliano; Tango Moruno; Motion; Danza Negra; Timba en Trampa.
Personnel: Hilario Duran: piano; Mark Kelso: drums; Roberto Occhipinti: bass; Joaquin Hidalgo: bata drums, vocals (3); Luis Orbegoso: congas (8); Jimy Haddad: percussion (5); The Pandamonium Strings (3).
Record Label: Alma Records