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Live Reviews

Kurt Rosenwinkel, Charles Lloyd and Chucho Valdes at the Barcelona Jazz Festival

By Published: November 29, 2010
Moran played a beautiful intro to "La Llorona" (a traditional Mexican folk song), and Lloyd's flute work was very touching on "Booker's Garden," also featuring an outstanding drum solo from Harland. This was an opportunity to state that jazz lovers do not need to feel nostalgic about Lloyd's 1960s quartet with Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
Keith Jarrett
b.1945
piano
, Cecil McBee
Cecil McBee
Cecil McBee
b.1935
bass, acoustic
and Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
Jack DeJohnette
b.1942
drums
. The same magic is happening right now and at the same level—or even better; only the names are different, not the talent. And Lloyd is as creative, inspired and inspiring as ever.

Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers

42 Barcelona Voll-Damm Internacional Jazz Festival

Palau de la Música Catalana

November 17, 2010



After Lloyd, the Barcelona audience had the chance to witness Chucho Valdes
Chucho Valdes
Chucho Valdes
b.1941
piano
, playing with his Afro-Cuban Messengers in one of the most spectacular auditoriums in the world: the Palau de la Música Catalana. Built between 1905 and 1908, it was designed by architect Lluís Domènech i Montaner and is, in itself, worth a visit. It is a unique auditorium and one not likely to be seen elsewhere in the world. The room was full, and anticipation in the air, for this Afro-Cuban project, was palpable. Cuba has, of course, long ties with Spain, and so it's only natural that people from Barcelona feel this music very deeply and resonate with it.

Valdés came to town to present Chucho's Steps (Harmonia Mundi/Four Quarters, 2010). He mirrored multiculturalism, making his music all the richer. His blend of bebop and hard bop with Cuban rhythms, producing a wide spectrum of sounds and colors, created a cheerful and eclectic show; clearly, the audience left some of its blues at the Palau that night.

Of all the songs Valdés and his band presented, "Danzón," "Zawinul's Mambo" (dedicated to Joe Zawinul
Joe Zawinul
Joe Zawinul
1932 - 2007
keyboard
), "New Orleans" (dedicated to the Marsalis family), "Chucho's Steps" and "Begin to be Good" were the most thrilling. The pianist is obviously a well-established and world class musician. He knows the history of jazz piano, and he frequently quoted some of his masters, either via classic jazz standards or through bits of well-known solos, making even the new material popular—or, at least, giving it a connection with jazz audiences.

Back in the hotel, Valdés was surprised by a young, 12 year-old French reporter, Charles Dubrulle-Deghelt, who interviewed him for his blog at L'Express magazine. Clearly, jazz will not be out of print for the next few years.

Photo Credit

Ricard Cugat


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