305

Paquito D'Rivera: Live At The Blue Note

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Now that the United States is experiencing a renaissance in awareness of the richness of Cuban music (but for who knows how long?), it's time to reappraise and re-appreciate one of the first of the Baby Boomer generation's Cuban jazz musicians. Paquito D'Rivera brought that country's music directly to the heart of jazz country—that heart being New York City. Even though Andy Garcia is signed to portray Arturo Sandoval in a biographical movie, let us not forget that it was Paquito D'Rivera who first defected, putting a bag full of sticks and stone on the plane in Spain instead of his belongings. His conscience tried by what he witnessed as the Cuban government's abuse of the Mariel boat people, D'Rivera left behind wife and family to take a chance on freedom.

Always acknowledged as a premier saxophonist and clarinetist, D'Rivera has gone about fusing Cuban music with jazz and classical for an exhilarating blend that audiences can't resist.

There is no better evidence of the infectiousness of D'Rivera's music than "Live At The Blue Note".

Jumping full-force out of the chute with an extroverted version of the Brazilian tune, "Curumim", D'Rivera's regular quintet reaches out to the audience with a joyousness that obviously provided what they came to hear. By the time D'Rivera introduces the next number, the audience is audibly enjoying themselves, laughing to D'Rivera's politically tinged but good-natured jokes.

D'Rivera's intent was to take his audience "on a tour of South America"—which he does. Referring to Argentina on "Buenos Aires", Brazil on "Curumim" and his homeland on "Centro Havana", D'Rivera not only spreads the joy of the music, but also points out through musical demonstration the differences in rhythm and harmony. The composer of "Centro Havana", flutist Oriente Lopez, joined the band on the number that night in August, 1999. So, D'Rivera's closing number possessed a personal meaning.

The musicians in D'Rivera's group deserve special attention as well, all of whom (his "illegal aliens") are as comfortable in a jazz groove as they are in transcending the music through Latin percussion. Having created his own mini-United Nations Orchestra, the members of the quintet hail from Argentina, Peru, Cuba and the exotic locale of Chicago.

Perhaps because D'Rivera excels in front of a live audience, "Live At The Blue Note" presents him in an energized environment that fully appreciated his music.


Track Listing:

Curumim, El Cura, Buenos Aires, Tobago, Como Un Bolero, Centro Havana, Estamos Ai

Personnel:

Paquito D'Rivera, alto and soprano sax, clarinet; Diego Urcola, trumpet; Oriente Lopez, flute; Dario Eskenazi, piano; Oscar Stagnaro, bass; Mark Walker, drums; Pernell Saturnino, percussion

Year Released: 2002 | Record Label: Half Note Records | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Marianne" CD/LP/Track Review Marianne
by Mark Corroto
Published: June 28, 2016
Read "Chicago II" CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read "The Chicago Plan" CD/LP/Track Review The Chicago Plan
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 16, 2017
Read "Message In Motion" CD/LP/Track Review Message In Motion
by David A. Orthmann
Published: October 27, 2016
Read "Sedimental You" CD/LP/Track Review Sedimental You
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 29, 2016
Read "How to Build a City" CD/LP/Track Review How to Build a City
by Jim Olin
Published: January 1, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!