4

Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet: Diablo en Brooklyn

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
Gabriel Alegría Afro-Peruvian Sextet: Diablo en Brooklyn
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.

Album information

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

Post a comment about this album

Listen

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

Read Data Lords
Data Lords
Maria Schneider Orchestra
Read In Igma
In Igma
Pedro Melo Alves
Read Blood Moon
Blood Moon
Ingrid Laubrock + Kris Davis
Read Inland Empire
Inland Empire
Fredrik Ljungkvist - Kris Davis - Ole Morten Vågan - Øyvind Skarbø
Read PaNOptic
PaNOptic
Rudy Royston
Read Valentine
Valentine
Bill Frisell
Read Triangulate the Landscape
Triangulate the Landscape
Drew Wesely/Kenneth Jimenez/Francisco Mela

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, shelter in place and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary effort that will help musicians now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the bottom right video ad). Thank you.

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.