354

Chucho Valdes Quintet at 2009 Ottawa International Jazz Festival

Marcia Hillman By

Sign in to view read count
Chucho Valdés Quintet
2009 Ottawa International Jazz Festival
Ottawa, Canada
July 3, 2009


The rain held off and skies cleared just in time for the Chucho Valdés Quintet to delight the audience at the Ottawa Jazz Festival, Confederation Park. The group-consisting of Chucho Valdés on piano, Lazaro Alarcon on bass, drummer Juan Carlos Rojas, percussionist Yurali Abreu and vocalist Mayra Caridad Valdés (who appeared later in the set)—started the set with an Ellington medley. "Satin Doll" smoothly segued into "In A Sentimental Mood" and then "Caravan." Valdés is a master at his instrument and travels from jazz to classical and further, but never loses the Cuba in his soul. This was clearly demonstrated in the next selection, "Poinciana," which featured a polyrhytmic figure in his left hand and in the drums playing against a delicate melody line in his right hand. The figure was then played by bass and piano behind a dazzling conga solo by Abreu.

Chuco Valdes
The emphasis on rhythm changes is an important part of Valdés' musical perspective. He knows how and when to change rhythms, how to build a solo and ultimately how to build a set to an exciting and driving conclusion. By the time he got to the composition "7/4"—an exercise using what sounded like a Cuban folk song played in a 7/4 time signature, the audience was cheering.

It was after this that vocalist Mayra Caridad Valdés appeared and launched into a gutsy rendition of "Besame Mucho" that erased any previous versions of this song. The lady has a wide vocal range, can scat and involves the audience in her performance in a call and response manner. Two songs later, the audience was begging for more. And there was more to come including the encore, "Los Guiros," which displayed how much music can come from the gourds utilized in Latin rhythm sections. Bassist Alarcon and percussionist Abreu, each with gourd in hand, delivered virtuoso performances. In fact, Valdés' three compatriots delivered solid backing and solos during the evening.

So much music came from this group that it was hard sometimes to realize there were only four instrumentalists on stage. But the excitement was on both sides of the footlights with an audience that stayed on their feet applauding long after the last dr


Photo Credit

John Fowler


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Kongsberg Jazz Festival 2017
by Henning Bolte
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's Oakland Live Reviews Arturo Sandoval At Yoshi's Oakland
by Walter Atkins
Published: August 17, 2017
Read Jazz em Agosto 2017 Live Reviews Jazz em Agosto 2017
by Mike Chamberlain
Published: August 16, 2017
Read Dawn Clement Trio at Kitano Live Reviews Dawn Clement Trio at Kitano
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 14, 2017
Read Gilad Hekselman at the Cornelia Street Café Live Reviews Gilad Hekselman at the Cornelia Street Café
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 13, 2017
Read "Katie Thiroux Quartet at Birdland" Live Reviews Katie Thiroux Quartet at Birdland
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: November 8, 2016
Read "Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom" Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read "Galway Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Galway Jazz Festival 2016
by Ian Patterson
Published: October 31, 2016
Read "Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main" Live Reviews Ted Ludwig Trio at Little Rock's South on Main
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Burlington Discover Jazz Festival 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: June 18, 2017

Sponsor: JANA PROJECT | LEARN MORE  

Support our sponsor

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.