Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.


Pedro Giraudo Big Band: Cuentos

Jack Bowers By

Sign in to view read count
Cuentos, the sixth recording by Argentine-born, New York-based composer / arranger / bassist Pedro Giraudo and his first as leader of a fully formed large ensemble, is a rhythmic delight, deftly interweaving the best of Giraudo's South American heritage with contemporary big-band jazz of the highest order. Giraudo wrote and arranged every number, on each of which the irrepressible harmonies and cadences of his homeland play an essential role.

Much of the music is thematic, from the four-part "Angela Suite" (written for Giraudo's second daughter) to those inspired by poetry ("La Ley Primera," "El Cuento Que Te Cuento"), birth tradition ("Push Gift") and the sky above us ("Nube," or Cloud). Almost none is what would be considered easy listening, as Giraudo weaves elaborate ensemble passages around a number of engaging solos to produce an impressive tapestry. It is, however, the sort of subtle and nuanced discourse whose basic purpose embodies rewarding the more ardent and attentive listener.

Giraudo uses a number of traditional South American rhythms to make his point: the cueca, zamba and chacarera from Argentina, and the merengue from Venezuela, which underscores the opening "Muneca" (Doll), an upbeat swinger whose articulate solo spokesman is trombonist Ryan Keberle. The suite is next, its animated "Overture" followed by the melancholy "Ojos Que Non Ven" (Blind Eyes), the assertive "La Rabiosa" and emphatic "Coda," in which the various components of the first three movements come together. Soloists are alto Todd Bashore and pianist Jess Jurkovic ("Overture"), trumpeter Josh Deutsch ("Ojos") and baritone saxophonist Carl Maraghi ("Rabiosa").

"La Ley Primera" (First Law) is a sensuous ballad whose lovely melody and impromptu observations are presided over by alto Alejandro Aviles, "El Cuentro Que Te Cuentro" (Storytelling) a picturesque tone poem based on a verse by Giraudo's wife, Marianela Fernandez, on which the splendid trumpeter Miki Hirose is the featured soloist. Buoyant rhythms and a brisk solo by tenor John Ellis are the order of the day on "Push Gift," which leads to the exquisite finale, "Nube," on which Maraghi's deep baritone sets the compass. A lovely way to end an impressive debut album by Giraudo's trim and talented big band. After years of searching, Giraudo seems to have found a congenial dwelling place. Let's hope he chooses to linger awhile.

Track Listing: Muneca; Angela Suite (Overture / Ojos Que Non Ven / La Rabiosa / Coda); La Ley Primera; El Cuento Que Te Cuento; Push Gift; Nube.

Personnel: Pedro Giraudo: leader, composer, arranger, acoustic bass, electric bass; Jonathan Powell: trumpet, flugelhorn; Miki Hirose: trumpet, flugelhorn; Mat Jodrell: trumpet, flugelhorn; Josh Deutsch: trumpet, flugelhorn; Alejandro Aviles: alto, soprano sax, flute; Todd Bashore: alto, soprano sax, flute; Luke Batson: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; John Ellis: tenor sax, flute, clarinet; Carl Maraghi: baritone sax, bass clarinet; Ryan Keberle: trombone; Mike Fahie: trombone; Mark Miller: trombone; Nate Mayland: trombone; Jess Jurkovic: piano; Franco Pinna: drums; Paulo Stagnaro: percussion. Special guest – Claudio Ragazzi: guitar (7, 8).

Title: Cuentos | Year Released: 2015 | Record Label: Zoho Music


Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Bound CD/LP/Track Review Not Bound
by Don Phipps
Published: January 22, 2018
Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read "Rome" CD/LP/Track Review Rome
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: November 15, 2017
Read "Little Giant Still Life" CD/LP/Track Review Little Giant Still Life
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 15, 2017
Read "Lattice" CD/LP/Track Review Lattice
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 25, 2017
Read "Love Letters" CD/LP/Track Review Love Letters
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Expedition" CD/LP/Track Review Expedition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: August 4, 2017
Read "Akua's Dance" CD/LP/Track Review Akua's Dance
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: June 9, 2017