Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

19

Aruan Ortiz: Cuban Nocturne

Karl Ackermann By

Sign in to view read count
Cuban pianist and composer Aruán Ortiz started playing piano at the age of nine though his primary instruments were violin and viola. As a teen he began playing arrangements of popular Cuban songs in a school where he was already the director of the band. At fifteen he was first exposed to the music of Chick Corea, setting him on a journey to explore jazz. Cuban Nocturne is fifth of six second-season releases from the vinyl-only Newvelle Records label. The solo piano recording pays tribute to some of the great composers of Cuba, along with some new material. A master improviser, Ortiz felt that these pieces were not the proper platform for that type of treatment, at least not without a carefully executed approach.

The pieces on this album reflect the influences of Ortiz youth. Three of the compositions on Cuban Nocturne are credited to Ignacio Cervantes, a late nineteenth century Havana-born composer with a strong influence in the Creolization of Cuban music and one who used music to further his political views. While Ortiz incorporates slightly different angles, his overall approach is both quixotic and inventive as with Cervantes' "Picotazos" where the pianist calls on his familiar improvisational skills to a greater extent. "Tres Lindas" is a composition from Antonio María Romeu (1876—1955). A Cuban pianist, Romeu was referred to as El Mago de las Teclas (The Keyboard Magician) and specialized in dance music known as the danzón, a blend of European classical music and African rhythms.

Ortiz includes "Danza Negra" by Ernesto Lecuona (1895—1963), who composed more than six-hundred pieces, and whose music, including "Babalú," was introduced to U.S. audiences by musician and actor Desi Arnaz. Ortiz includes three original pieces, two of which are brief "Interlude" compositions that run about one-minute in length. His title track (sub-titled "Theme from Alas") was originally scored for a movie based on Cuban writer Luis Vargas.

Those familiar with Ortiz' previous solo recording Cub(an)ism (Intakt Records, 2017) will find Cuban Nocturne a warmer, more impressionistic collection but his playing is no less intriguing here. His interpretations of Cuban classics are modernized without losing the original flavor. As with all second-season Newvelle releases, the LP cover features more stunning photography from the Tendance Floue French collective.

Track Listing: Side A: Cuban Nocturne (Theme from Alas); Tres Lindas; Musica Callada; Picotazos. Side B: Interlude; Danza Negra; Los Tres Golpes; Interlude 2; Illusiones Perdidas.

Personnel: Aruán Ortiz: piano.

Title: Cuban Nocturne | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Newvelle Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Open & Close/The Sphinx

Open & Close/The Sphinx

Aruán Ortiz
Hidden Voices

Koko

Koko

Aruán Ortiz
Orbiting

CD/LP/Track Review
Take Five With...
Read more articles
Cub(an)ism

Cub(an)ism

Intakt Records
2017

buy
Cuban Nocturne

Cuban Nocturne

Newvelle Records
2017

buy
Hidden Voices

Hidden Voices

Intakt Records
2016

buy
Orbiting

Orbiting

Fresh Sound New Talent
2013

buy

Related Articles

Read I Always Knew CD/LP/Track Review
I Always Knew
by Paul Rauch
Published: December 12, 2018
Read It's Alright To Dream featuring JD Allen CD/LP/Track Review
It's Alright To Dream featuring JD Allen
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 12, 2018
Read Volume One CD/LP/Track Review
Volume One
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 12, 2018
Read Songs in the Key of Wonder CD/LP/Track Review
Songs in the Key of Wonder
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2018
Read SHIFTED CD/LP/Track Review
SHIFTED
by James Fleming
Published: December 12, 2018
Read Vilddjur CD/LP/Track Review
Vilddjur
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 11, 2018
Read "Your Queen Is A Reptile" CD/LP/Track Review Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read "Peter and the Wolf" CD/LP/Track Review Peter and the Wolf
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 8, 2018
Read "There Are Stars In Brooklyn" CD/LP/Track Review There Are Stars In Brooklyn
by James Fleming
Published: October 16, 2018
Read "Never Bet The Devil Your Head" CD/LP/Track Review Never Bet The Devil Your Head
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: April 9, 2018
Read "Kanata" CD/LP/Track Review Kanata
by Chris Mosey
Published: May 5, 2018
Read "Tomorrow" CD/LP/Track Review Tomorrow
by John Bricker
Published: November 4, 2018