Historias Desde Otros Lares
Label: Self Produced
“Historias desde otros Lares is very Puerto Rican” he said, “a mix of bomba, plena, infused with Latin jazz and American jazz.” “The roots of where I’m from, who I am, what I want to do, they’re all there. This is me,” he said. Núñez cites the incomparable Bill Evans and jazz legend Miles Davis, as well as the brilliant Puerto Rican bassist Eddie Gomez, as invaluable sources of inspiration. He also names Latin jazz heavy hitters, like composer/jazz pianist Armando Anthony “Chick” Corea and pianist Eddie Palmieri, as well as fellow boricuas Miguel Zenón and David Sanchez, as having a major influence to his sound. Recorded over one afternoon at a NYU studio, there is a naked soulfulness underlying Núñez’s lush sound and stylistically nimble compositions. “The feeling of camaraderie, of family, was crucial to the success of the album,” Núñez claimed. The stellar production features world-renowned musicians, like Mike Rodríguez (who has played with legends Chick Corea and Dafnis Prieto), Alan Ferber, Camilo Molina (Eddie Palmieri), Janice Maisonet (Emina), Jonathan Montes (All 4 One), Marcos López (Lila Downs, Plena Libre), Julito Alvarado, Angel Luis Pacheco and Furito Ríos. “The album is composed of seven songs. Each song encapsulates its own identity, showcases its own story,” Núñez said. Historias desde otros Lares opens with “Luis Gabriel,” a boisterous, exuberant, and agile composition with tropical flair and a sophisticated sensibility. The song was written by Gary Núñez when LuisGa was born. The tribute comes full circle as his son, now an accomplished musician in his own right, brings the song to life. The vibrant interpretation is a masterful and heartfelt homage to his father’s journey and legacy. “‘Una de Azúcar’ is a love story,” Luis said. “Inspired by the coffee and the mountains of Puerto Rico, along with everything the center of the island has to offer.” The explosion of the sensuous, velvety horn gives way to an a incandescent trumpet solo by Mike Rodríguez, showcasing the extraordinary musicianship of the The Núñez Project. “Olandera,” written by his father, plays with hip-hop, funk, soul, bomba sica. It’s an eloquent, festive piece that revels in its own ferocity of spirit, with an inventive, rapturous rhythm that dares you to resist the overwhelming urge to dance. “23 de Mayo” puts the star-studded collective of The Núñez Project on full display. Composed by LuisGa, the piece charts the lifespan of an intoxicating, but ultimately doomed love story. The song incorporates the rhythms of bomba, quembe y yuba and features trombonist Alan Ferber, saxophonist Furito Ríos, and Geraldo Comales. The song opens up beautifully, gliding along like a new romance while the rhythm continues to gather momentum, exploding into a passionate, powerful powerformance. The end is punctuated by aggressive melodies that mark the demise and ultimate rupture of the relationship. Lares is a song in the style of Oriza and plena. The rendition pays homage to Puerto Rican town of Lares, the site of the Lares Uprising. The political elements embedded in this colorful and textured piece imbue this song with great personal significance to Luis. “Artists have a responsibility and a duty to highlight and call out injustices and the political,” Núñez said. “Esperando por Oscar” was written by Luis’s father before the release of the Puerto Rican political prisoner Oscar López Rivera in May 17, 2017. Written in the rhythm of bomba yuba, it’s an achingly beautiful piece, profound and joyful, full of yearning and awash in nostalgia. “It’s one I hold very dear to my heart. It was Christmas time. We were exchanging presents at home. My father told me, ‘If I was a painter, I’d give you art, but since I am a musician, I’ll give you the gift of music,’ and he handed me the score,” Núñez said. “The song is dedicated, not just to Oscar López Rivera, but to everyone that’s sacrificed their life, their health, and their freedom, which is the most precious thing we have: nuestra independencia.” The last song on the album is Calle Lena, Luis’s own composition. The scorching piece of Latin jazz is a wildly rhythmic ride, with percussion propulsing the exhilarating trumpet solo throughout. The song is named after Luis’s childhood street, where he had resided up until his relocation to New York City. It’s the Latin jazz of New York, but it’s also a nod to the neighborhood pleneros and the streetside rumba that nurtured his creative growth. It’s apparent that the various inspirational father figures, from his band members to the titans of the genre, are as present in Luis’s mind as they are in his sound. Deeply rooted in legacy with a hopeful eye cast toward the polished skyscrapers of New York, the album is both homage and aspiration, an ode to the band’s past and the journey it’s forging for itself.
Album uploaded by Michael Ricci
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