Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved reader experience across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

213

Chucho Vald?s: New Conceptions

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
His quartet and guests give Chucho Valdïs an eclectic atmosphere through which he parades his enthusiasm for American jazz and traditional Cuban music. His heavy piano tirades provide the kind of strength that is needed when one pumps up the volume with Latin percussionists in abundance right and left. Soloists from Irakere share the spotlight this time out, and Valdïs creates evolving scenery in which each can improvise freely. Even the straight-ahead “Solar,” with its familiar melody and typical mainstream action, receives the personal touch of a piano wizard who’s been compared favorably to virtuoso Art Tatum. While Valdïs lists his piano influences as McCoy Tyner and Bill Evans, there’s no question that he’s absorbed it all in his quest to combine jazz with Afro-Cuban cultures.

What Valdïs does with “Caravan” serves as the high point of New Conceptions. He explores this timeless exotic gem with natural ease and fire in his eyes. The quartet explodes with percussive expression of adventure. Much of the album, however, lacks the kind of spark that he’s issued previously. In his wish to introduce young Cuban jazz artists, Valdïs has refrained from astonishing the listener with take-control keyboard epithets. Instead, he keeps his piano statements to a minimum and brings his not-so-promising guests forward for their brief introductions.

“Sin Clave Pero Con Swing” (without guests) returns to the quartet-only formula. Here, the group achieves what has been the U.S. focus of attention for the 62-year-old Cuban pianist. The quartet is alive and eager for the action that this music dictates.

In the early 1970s with Irakere, Valdïs introduced Arturo Sandoval and Paquito D’Rivera to the world. He preferred to remain behind the spotlight. Then, in the late ‘90s, both Irakere and Valdïs received Blue Note exposure that has led to a wider understanding of Cuba’s giant bandleader and pianist. New Conceptions won’t turn many heads; however, this pianist’s superb artistry can never be overlooked.


Track Listing: La Comparsa, You Don't Know What Love Is, Los Guiros, Nanu, Solar, Sin Clave Pero Con Swing, Homenaje A Ellington

Personnel: Chucho Valdes--piano; Yaroldy Abrue Robles--congero, drums, shekere; Lazaro Rivero Alcaron-- bass; Ramses Rodriquez Baralt--trap drums. guests: Maylin Sevila Brizuela--cello; Jacinto JoaquinOlviero Gavilan--flute; Ramon Filin O'Reilly--alto saxophone; Irving Luichel Acao Tierra-- tenor saxophone

Title: New Conceptions | Year Released: 2003 | Record Label: Blue Note Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Roppongi CD/LP/Track Review Roppongi
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Is Life Long? CD/LP/Track Review Is Life Long?
by Mark Corroto
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Contra la indecision CD/LP/Track Review Contra la indecision
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Vessel in Orbit CD/LP/Track Review Vessel in Orbit
by Don Phipps
Published: January 19, 2018
Read Pulse/Quartet CD/LP/Track Review Pulse/Quartet
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: January 19, 2018
Read OR CD/LP/Track Review OR
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 18, 2018
Read "Roscanna" CD/LP/Track Review Roscanna
by Ian Patterson
Published: January 1, 2018
Read "Coalesce" CD/LP/Track Review Coalesce
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Welcome to Swingsville!" CD/LP/Track Review Welcome to Swingsville!
by Jack Bowers
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Satoko Fujii Solo" CD/LP/Track Review Satoko Fujii Solo
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: January 13, 2018
Read "Green With Envy" CD/LP/Track Review Green With Envy
by James Nadal
Published: March 28, 2017
Read "The Return of Art Pepper" CD/LP/Track Review The Return of Art Pepper
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 8, 2017