Aldemar Valentin: Ficciones (2011)
"Santurce Triste"aptly named for a section of San Juan, Puerto Ricois a display of Valentín's arranging skills. Tenor saxophonist Norberto Ortiz and trumpeter Julito Alvarado deliver commendable performances, fusing with guitar and bass as they each shoot out short solos to present an aural cityscape ending with the sound of tropical rain.
With all the musicians hail from Puerto Rico, it is only fitting to present a Latin jazz-flavored number to balance out the record. Recruiting premier percussionist Paoli Mejias and alto phenom Miguel Zenon on "Cacique Rebelde," the group showcases its innate grasp and mastery of complicated tempo changes with ease.
This type of multifaceted music can only be performed and recorded after much rehearsal and meticulous attention to detail. The two remaining songs"Amistad," and "Saga"could be a study in composition, arranging, and solo dexterity, all combined with the excellent timekeeping of drummer Raúl Maldonado, and making for fascinating listening, with a tendency to hang onto every note.
With Ficciones, Valentinalready an acknowledged and respected bassistcan now also be recognized as producer, composer and leader, helping to shape the sound of modern jazz.
Track Listing: Ficciones; Santurce Triste; Cacique Rebelde; Amistad; Saga.
Personnel: Aldemar Valentín: electric bass; Norberto Ortiz: tenor saxophone; Julito Alvarado: trumpet; Raúl Maldonado: drums; L.Raúl Romero: electric guitar; Miguel Zenón: alto saxophone (3); Paoli Mejías: percussion (3).
Record Label: Self Produced
Style: Modern Jazz