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!

286

Paquito Hechavarria: Frankly

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Pianist Francisco "Paquito" Hechavarría might be best known for his work on Gloria Estefan's "Conga," but that record barely scratches the surface in showing what he's capable of playing. Smoking tumbao-based patterns seem to be embedded in his musical DNA: Hechavarría grew up in pre-Castro Cuba and soaked up the rhythms and sounds of his native land. He spent some time as the director and pianist of Orquesta Riverside, and even had the opportunity to record with Mongo Santamaria when the legendary percussionist came to Cuba to record Our Man In Havana (Fantasy, 1959). While half a century elapsed between the recording of Our Man and Hechavarría's work here, he still seems to play with the energy of his youth, but also with the wisdom he has accumulated across those years.



Frankly, a collection of twelve songs associated with the great Frank Sinatra, finds Hechavarría in good company, with drummer Dafnis Prieto, bassist Andy Gonzalez and percussionist Pedro Martínez along for the ride. This stellar quartet transforms these standards into rhythmically vibrant Latin jazz gems. The quartet, along with some A-list guests like saxophone legend Phil Woods and trumpeter Brian Lynch, keeps the tracks short and high on excitement.



A brief piano introduction ushers in the quartet's interpretation of "Change Partners." While things start off in a polite and measured manner, the song really heats up when Hechavarría takes off on his solo. Lynch makes his first appearance with an elegant take on "Sweet Lorraine," exploding with some raunchy trumpet cries. Following a comfortable stroll through "Oh You Crazy Moon," Woods joins the band on "I've Got The World On A String." The altoist's tender side comes out on the introduction, and he gets ample space to solo. A percussion feast underscores González's fine bass work throughout "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing." While the majority of the solos on this record go to the leader and the guest stars, the percussion partnership between Prieto and Martínez really seems to fuel the fire throughout.



"Just In Time" and "All Of Me," the remaining two tracks featuring Lynch, benefit from his bold horn work. The latter of these two performances finds Lynch to be particularly inspired as the rollicking rhythms of Cuba surround and engulf him. Woods, also in fine form on his two other appearances, delivers familiar melodic strains and strong solos on "The Lady Is A Tramp" and "Fly Me To The Moon." The band is joined by Ileana Santamaria on vocals near the conclusion of their performance of Cole Porter's "I Love Paris" and the vocals certainly add another dimension to this music. "Witchcraft" and "I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter," the final two quartet tracks on the album, maintain the same mixture of precision and passion that shows from start to finish on Frankly.


Track Listing: Change Partners; Sweet Lorraine; Oh You Crazy Moon; I've Got The World On A String; Love Is A Many Splendored Thing; Just In Time; The Lady Is A Tramp; I Love Paris; All of Me; Witchcraft; Fly Me To The Moon; I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter.

Personnel: Paquito Hechavarría: piano; Andy González: acoustic bass; Dafnis Prieto: drums; Pedro Martínez: congas, percussion and chorus; Phil Woods: alto saxophone (4, 7, 11); Brian Lynch: trumpet (2, 6, 9); Ileana Santamaría: chorus (8).

Title: Frankly | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Calle 54 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 "Triple Double" CD/LP/Track Review Triple Double
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 14, 2017
Read "Rondane" CD/LP/Track Review Rondane
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 3, 2018
Read "Freedom is Space for the Spirit" CD/LP/Track Review Freedom is Space for the Spirit
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 2, 2017
Read "The Truth" CD/LP/Track Review The Truth
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Burn The Boat" CD/LP/Track Review Burn The Boat
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: May 18, 2017