Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for readers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

4

Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet: Diablo en Brooklyn

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Gabriel Alegria is proud of the first five recordings by his Afro-Peruvian Sextet, but he's more proud of his sixth, Diablo en Brooklyn, than the rest. First, it's his first Sextet release completely recorded in Peru. Second, it reprises in-concert versions of band originals released on previous albums plus a twelve-minute hothouse expedition through the Gershwins' "Summertime," interspersed with a four-movement "Brooklyn Suite" loosely based on the "Son de los Diablos" tradition where mock devils parade through the streets of Lima.

But most importantly, on Diablo en Brooklyn, Alegría explains, "We went back to the essence of the sextet. The six core members. This album represents what Afro-Peruvian jazz music and a bicultural ensemble can contribute to the world." (Yellowjackets keyboardist Russell Ferrante returns from the Sextet's previous, tenth-anniversary release 10 [2015, Zoho Records] for several Diablo guest spots.)

"One of us can phrase a written piece of music differently than it appears on the page and without any discussion someone else can phrase it differently in the same way, in real time. This happens routinely and it's a pretty special thing to achieve," Alegría proudly notes. "We really are as much a family as a band."

There's so much music on Diablo en Brooklyn that your ears hardly know where to begin. Buzzsaw electric guitars pry open the churning, troublesome rhythm of "Caras II," while the "El Norte" guitar plays surrounded by a swirling, buzzing beehive of percussion.

Trumpet sets up and downshifts "Summertime" into a twelve-minute, slow-rolling blues moan which culminates in a trumpet-saxophone melodic duet so purposefully wobbly that it sounds like a pair of drunks singing the night's final tune at last call. Even if you've already heard this Gershwin classic one thousand times, Alegría's reconstruction is a great reason to make it one thousand and one.

The four-part "Brooklyn Suite" turns Diablo from good to great. For "Part 3" (which comes first), Alegría asked electric guitarist Jocho Velázquez to play "as though B.B. King was combined with Oscar Aviles" (one of Peru's folk guitar legends). Velázquez digs into a deep, funky guitar-organ groove with Ferrante, broadly colored by ensemble horns that eventually march to a kettle-ratting drumbeat through the streets of New Orleans.

Powerful, brooding, bombastic yet meticulous (and uncredited) basslines drive the Suite's other three parts and concert performance of "Buscando a Huevito" into more dark and sinister sonic places, and conjure the inscrutable, spiritual moodiness of Charles Mingus.

"We're definitely on a crusade to spread Afro-Peruvian jazz music to the world," Alegría says. "We want it to become part of the language of jazz, and the more we play it and the more feedback we get, the more confident we become that this will be the case."

Track Listing: Caras II (Live); Part 3 - The Brooklyn Suite; Buscando a Huevito (Live); The Brooklyn Suite - Part 2; Summertime (Live); Part 4 - The Brooklyn Suite; El Norte (Live); The Brooklyn Suite - Part 1.

Personnel: Gabriel Alegria: trumpet, flugelhorn, vocals; Laura Andrea Leguia: soprano sax, tenor sax, baritone sax, vocals; Freddie “Huevito” Lobatón: cajón, quijada, cajita, campana, vocals; Yuri Juárez: acoustic guitar, electric guitar; Hugo Alcázar: drums, vocals; Russell Ferrante: keyboards; Jocho Velázquez: electric guitar.

Title: Diablo en Brooklyn | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Saponegro Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Satoko Fujii Solo CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 17, 2018
Read when the shade is stretched CD/LP/Track Review when the shade is stretched
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 17, 2018
Read The Influencing Machine CD/LP/Track Review The Influencing Machine
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Presence CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read Flaneur CD/LP/Track Review Flaneur
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: January 16, 2018
Read D'Agala CD/LP/Track Review D'Agala
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 16, 2018
Read "Trajetórias" CD/LP/Track Review Trajetórias
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: January 5, 2018
Read "Six Easy Pieces" CD/LP/Track Review Six Easy Pieces
by Karl Ackermann
Published: April 5, 2017
Read "Karoujite" CD/LP/Track Review Karoujite
by John Eyles
Published: June 21, 2017
Read "A Home In Between" CD/LP/Track Review A Home In Between
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 17, 2017
Read "Hourglass" CD/LP/Track Review Hourglass
by Paul Rauch
Published: May 18, 2017
Read "Momentum" CD/LP/Track Review Momentum
by John Sharpe
Published: April 5, 2017