Paquito D'Rivera: Live At The Blue Note (2002)
Always acknowledged as a premier saxophonist and clarinetist, D'Rivera has gone about fusing Cuban music with jazz and classical for an exhilarating blend that audiences can't resist.
There is no better evidence of the infectiousness of D'Rivera's music than "Live At The Blue Note".
Jumping full-force out of the chute with an extroverted version of the Brazilian tune, "Curumim", D'Rivera's regular quintet reaches out to the audience with a joyousness that obviously provided what they came to hear. By the time D'Rivera introduces the next number, the audience is audibly enjoying themselves, laughing to D'Rivera's politically tinged but good-natured jokes.
D'Rivera's intent was to take his audience "on a tour of South America"which he does. Referring to Argentina on "Buenos Aires", Brazil on "Curumim" and his homeland on "Centro Havana", D'Rivera not only spreads the joy of the music, but also points out through musical demonstration the differences in rhythm and harmony. The composer of "Centro Havana", flutist Oriente Lopez, joined the band on the number that night in August, 1999. So, D'Rivera's closing number possessed a personal meaning.
The musicians in D'Rivera's group deserve special attention as well, all of whom (his "illegal aliens") are as comfortable in a jazz groove as they are in transcending the music through Latin percussion. Having created his own mini-United Nations Orchestra, the members of the quintet hail from Argentina, Peru, Cuba and the exotic locale of Chicago.
Perhaps because D'Rivera excels in front of a live audience, "Live At The Blue Note" presents him in an energized environment that fully appreciated his music.
Curumim, El Cura, Buenos Aires, Tobago, Como Un Bolero, Centro Havana, Estamos Ai
Paquito D'Rivera, alto and soprano sax, clarinet; Diego Urcola, trumpet; Oriente Lopez, flute; Dario Eskenazi, piano; Oscar Stagnaro, bass; Mark Walker, drums; Pernell Saturnino, percussion
Record Label: Half Note Records