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!

158

Elio Villafranca and Arturo Stable: Dos Y Mas

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Elio Villafranca and percussionist Arturo Stable have the world at their fingertips. They originally hail from Cuba, where they received classical training and soaked in the sounds of the people before coming Stateside. But they don't limit their vision to their mutual point of origin. Spain, the Middle East and Africa, along with the sounds of their homeland, come into view on Dos Y Mas as these two meld their minds and marry their musical intentions to create a program of organic, original music.

Both men have traveled parallel paths, spending their formative years at Cuba's Instituto Superior de Arte in Havana, bonding during their time in saxophonist Jane Bunnett's Spirits Of Havana band, paying their dues while establishing themselves as world-class, cutting-edge Cuban jazz artists, and paying it forward through their work as educators in Philadelphia-based college music programs. All of these experiences, whether similar or shared, make them apt partners for this travelogue of a duo date.

Dos Y Mas opens with a pair of odd-metered Villafranca originals, which give the pianist a chance to unwind before laying down a foundational vamp beneath Stable's soloing. The album continues with "Alla," a loose-flowing ballad that proves to be the only track which doesn't have a good sense of flow and balance. Stable's percussion proves to be a bit too busy, as it distracts from and clashes with Villafranca's fluid piano. However, they quickly rebound with "Arara," inspired by Villafranca's encounter with Ojun Degara—"one of the oldest Arara folkloric groups in the province of Matanzas, Cuba."

"Arara" proves to be the start of a real musical winning streak for this dynamic duo: "En La Colonia" opens on a two-minute thumb piano solo and features some hypnotic, left-versus-right rhythms from Villafranca; "Vertiente" hits pay dirt with their blending of Bulería rhythms and Afro-Cuban elements; and they kick things up a notch in the energy department on the spicy "A Las Millas." As the album nears its end, they switch gears with the rushing tides of "Agua Marina" and the vocal-enhanced "Cuba Linda," which brings singer Igor Arias into the equation. These songs help broaden the overall scope of the project.

While a firm understanding of Cuban forms and world rhythms may enhance the overall listening experience, Dos Y Mas doesn't come with any knowledge-based prerequisites. These open-minded musical sculptors created this music for those with open ears to absorb and enjoy it.

Track Listing: 1529; Saghezi; Alla; Arara; En La Colonia; Vertiente; A Las Millas; Yusa's; Agua Marina; Cuba Linda.

Personnel: Elio Villafranca: piano, guataca, vocals; Arturo Stable: djembe, udu, dumbek, congas, bata, cajon, hand percussion, vocals; Igor Arias: vocals (10).

Title: Dos Y Mas | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Motéma Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Solid Gold CD/LP/Track Review Solid Gold
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Ts'iibil Chaaltun CD/LP/Track Review Ts'iibil Chaaltun
by Don Phipps
Published: January 15, 2018
Read One Night in Indy CD/LP/Track Review One Night in Indy
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 15, 2018
Read A Sky You Could Strike a Match On CD/LP/Track Review A Sky You Could Strike a Match On
by Patrick Burnette
Published: January 15, 2018
Read Open Borders CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 14, 2018
Read can't believe, won't believe CD/LP/Track Review can't believe, won't believe
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 14, 2018
Read "Petite Afrique" CD/LP/Track Review Petite Afrique
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 29, 2017
Read "Loneliness Road" CD/LP/Track Review Loneliness Road
by Doug Collette
Published: October 1, 2017
Read "Beyond the Moon" CD/LP/Track Review Beyond the Moon
by Tyran Grillo
Published: August 12, 2017
Read "In The Green Castle" CD/LP/Track Review In The Green Castle
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 6, 2017
Read "Western Edges" CD/LP/Track Review Western Edges
by John Sharpe
Published: July 2, 2017
Read "The Roc" CD/LP/Track Review The Roc
by Roger Farbey
Published: January 28, 2017