160

Nachito Herrera: Live at the Dakota 2

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
This 2003 date by pianist Nachito Herrera, a veteran of both the Cubanismo group and an idiosyncratic migration from Havana to Minneapolis, is his second live record from the Dakota, located in his adopted hometown. This time around, the large-group format of the first live disc gives way to a smaller ensemble.

Herrera's group masters the dynamic contrasts at the heart of Latin jazz. One motif is turning up the volume for the climatic resolution of repetitive themes; the opening and closing tracks are especially good examples. Another is the easy back and forth between Afro-Cuban and post bop rhythmic signatures, in the vein of Ignacio Berroa's recent Codes (Blue Note, 2006). "Afro 6/8," following a Baroque piano intro, applies this latter effect to a barely disguised variation on "Afro-Blue."

The aural quality of the recording is just fine, but the quality of the relationship between Herrera and the appreciative Minneapolis club audience is really crackling. Herrera rises (repeatedly) to crowd-pleasing crescendos in the manner of, say, Gene Harris, even if his virtuosity is considerably more refined.

The highlights of the set list include a pair of Wayne Shorter tunes; the slightly wistful treatment of "Yes or No" is even nicer than the straight-ahead Latinization of "Speak No Evil." (It's a good season for Shorter covers: see also the witty reading of "E.S.P." by Florian Weber's trio on Minsarah, Enja/Justin Time 2006.) The group manages to successfully adapt the intensity of the faster numbers to "Danzon para Aurora," a virtual catalogue of Latin jazz effects taken at less than breakneck speed.

Shai Hayo (whose own idiosyncratic migration led from Israel to Puerto Rico, before reaching Minneapolis) sounds not so much like a percussionist as a percussion army. Seconded by the powerful and sympathetic work of the delightfully named (for a Latin jazz drummer) Gordie Knudsen, Hayo makes it hard to believe this orchestral sound is essentially that of a piano trio augmented by an extra pair of hands.

Herrera's daughter Mirdalys provides an entirely credible vocal for her father's adaptation of the Yoruba-inspired "Babá Fururú."

Track Listing: Introduction; Spain in the Twins; Speak No Evil; Yes or No; Afro 6/8; Tulip

Personnel: Ignacio

Title: Live at the Dakota 2 | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Dakota Live!

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

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

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live at the Dakota 2

Live at the Dakota 2

Dakota Live!
2006

buy
Bemb

Bemb

FS Music
2005

buy

Related Articles

Read Migrations Album Reviews
Migrations
By Dan McClenaghan
June 25, 2019
Read Samba Azul Album Reviews
Samba Azul
By Mackenzie Horne
June 25, 2019
Read Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs Album Reviews
Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 25, 2019
Read Deep In The Mountains Album Reviews
Deep In The Mountains
By Chris Mosey
June 25, 2019
Read Phoenix Rising Album Reviews
Phoenix Rising
By Jack Bowers
June 24, 2019
Read Last Works Album Reviews
Last Works
By Doug Hall
June 24, 2019
Read The Change Album Reviews
The Change
By Roger Farbey
June 24, 2019