175

Carlos Patato Valdes: El Hombre

Russ Musto By

Sign in to view read count
Carlos Patato Valdes is arguably the most melodic of all congueros. The inventor of the tuned conga drum, he sings on his instrument like no other percussionist, so it comes as no surprise that this delightful date consists of some particularly lyrical Latin jazz. Leading an ensemble that features flutist Oriente Lopez (star of Charlie Haden's Latin Grammy-winning Land of the Sun), multi-reedist Phil Vieux (an Eddie Palmieri alumnus), pianist Edsel Gomez, bassist Joe Santiago, and percussionist Steve Berrios, plus various invited guests, Valdes plays the role of tasteful accompanist, guiding the group through the album's music.

Guitarist Edgardo Miranda and timbalero Marlon Simon join the band on Gomez's opening "Patato's Night Dance, a swinging straight-ahead salsa outing. Joe Gonzalez's bongos and José Clausell's timbales give a classic flavor to Vieux's pretty "Las Mujeres Favoritas de Patato. Lopez's "Mosquito is another appealing Latin jazz outing featuring Gomez's piano and the composer's flute. Lopez' "Cha-cha-cha Por Aqui begins with one of Patato's patented tuneful conga introductions before the band comes in with the attractive melody.

Paquito D'Rivera's dramatic "Como Un Bolero, the date's most beautiful piece, spotlights Lopez's flute, Vieux's clarinet, and Gomez's piano dancing slowing with the relaxed rhythms of Valdes and bongocero Pablito Rosario. Gregoire Maret's harmonica is featured with Lopez's flute and Vieux's tenor on the saxophonist's "Le Pomme de Terre, a mid-tempo outing driven by Valdes' conga and Gonzales' bongo and bell. Vieux's brooding clarinet introduces Gomez' "Stage Life, an exotic line with some unexpected twists and a surprise ending.

Flutist Dave Valentin makes a guest appearance on "Equinox and adds some excitement to the proceedings with a talking flute solo. Valdes' conga work is exquisite throughout the rendition of the Coltrane classic, which also features Gomez's piano and Vieux's tenor. Vieux's "Ballade Melancholie is another beautiful ballad featuring Lopez on flute, Maret on harmonica, and the composer on bass clarinet. The concluding "Reprise is the date's one mistake; a composite segueing sections from each of the previous tracks, it tarnishes an otherwise perfectly enchanting date.

Track Listing: Patato's Night Dance; Las Mujeres Favoritas de Patato; Mosquito; Cha-Cha-Cha-Por Aqui; Como un Bolero; Le Pomme de Terre; Stage Life; Equinox; Ballade Melancholie; Reprise Patato.

Personnel: Steve Berrios: Percussion; Jos

Title: El Hombre | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Mambo Maniacs

About Carlos "Patato" Valdes
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Jazz Near New York City
Events Guide | Venue Guide | Get App | More...

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related

Read 4
4
By Karl Ackermann
Read And I Love Her
And I Love Her
By John Kelman
Read A New Kind Of Water
A New Kind Of Water
By Jerome Wilson
Read No Place to Fall
No Place to Fall
By Mark Corroto
Read Cooper's Park
Cooper's Park
By Mike Jurkovic
Read Katarsis4
Katarsis4
By Vitalijus Gailius
Read A Throw Of Dice
A Throw Of Dice
By Dan McClenaghan