444

Tiempo Libre: Bach in Havana

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Tiempo Libre: Bach in Havana This title provides a pun on the enclosed concept, through which Tiempo Libre, led by pianist and co-producer Jorge Gomez, connects the rhythms and melodies of Afro-Cuban and Latin jazz with the venerated melodies and harmonies of Johann Sebastian Bach. "What's interesting to me is that we revere Bach for his musical genius," explains Gomez. "But the fact that he was composing works for his contemporaries as a "popular" artist while also creating deeply religious compositions, and that he was fascinated by dance rhythms, makes him an even more powerful inspiration for me."

Bach in Havana celebrates genius, melodic or rhythmic, in every corner you look. The opening "Tu Conga Bach" cooks up a hot polyrhythmic conga from its first percussion flash fire. The horns and Gomez's piano create a rhythmic undertow by tossing the melody of "Fuga" (based on Sonata in D Minor, BVW.964) back and forth, like cresting ocean waves.

It's hard to convey how "Minuet in G," this Latin adornment of one of Bach's most famous and honored melodies, sounds both profoundly respectful and yet so different. Laying out piano notes like spreading a plush carpet before the ensemble, Gomez transforms the 3/4 minuet standard time into a feverish, compelling 4/4 guanganco that leaps and bounds through a musical kaleidoscope of vocals, congas, trumpet and saxophone.

Percussion and piano merge into a single voice in "Clave in C Minor" (Prelude No. 2 in C Minor), an intensely dynamic whirl of melody made indistinguishable from rhythm that grows even more powerful when the horns jump shotgun on this same groove.

It culminates with the genuinely sacred music of "Kyrie" (Mass in B Minor), which opens with a vocal choir and strings in a reverential mood unbroken when the percussion, piano, and other instruments join the procession. Gomez's piano part is breathtakingly gorgeous, distilling Cuban passion and romantic classicism into one single essence.

Bach in Havana is so good, so expertly conceived and executed, that it's almost ridiculous.

Track Listing: Tu Conga Bach (conga); Fuga (Sonata in D Minor, BVW. 964, Fuga-Allegro, cha-cha-cha); Air on a G String (bolero); Clave in C Minor (Prelude No. 2 in C Minor, guaguanco); Gavotte from French Suite No. 5 in G Major (son); Mi Orisha (6/8 bata) (French Suite No. 2 in C Minor French); Minuet in G (guaguanco); Olas de Yemaya (C Major Prelude from WTC Book 1, bat

Personnel: Jorge Gomez: music director; arranger; keyboards; background vocals; Joaquin "El Kid" Diaz: lead vocals; Leandro Gonz

Year Released: 2009 | Record Label: Sony Classical | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Rags And Roots CD/LP/Track Review Rags And Roots
by James Nadal
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Tangled CD/LP/Track Review Tangled
by Jack Bowers
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Is It Me...? CD/LP/Track Review Is It Me...?
by Edward Blanco
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Live CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: April 25, 2017
Read 14.11.2016 CD/LP/Track Review 14.11.2016
by Nicola Negri
Published: April 25, 2017
Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read "The Real Deal" CD/LP/Track Review The Real Deal
by James Nadal
Published: June 12, 2016
Read "A Result of the Colors" CD/LP/Track Review A Result of the Colors
by Tyran Grillo
Published: June 8, 2016
Read "Lost Signals" CD/LP/Track Review Lost Signals
by Mark Corroto
Published: July 25, 2016
Read "Music Box Music" CD/LP/Track Review Music Box Music
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 8, 2017
Read "Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere" CD/LP/Track Review Perch Hen Brock & Rain/Live @ The Jazz Happening Tampere
by Mark Corroto
Published: August 20, 2016
Read "Reflection" CD/LP/Track Review Reflection
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 14, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!