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Havana-native pianist/composer Harold López-Nussa is not an unknown entity. He has released five recordings previous to the present New Day and all before 30 years of age. His is a an assertive Latin Jazz infused with the essence of Western Europe. His training includes the Manuel Saumell and Amadeo Roldán Conservatories, graduating with a specialty in Classic Piano from the Higher Institute of Arts. His attention eventually turned toward jazz, an area he has continued to expand and expound upon since.
New Day is mostly in a trio format, propelled by López-Nussa insistent and sure left hand. His playing method is equal parts percussion and melody. This approach is illustrated amply on the opening "A Degüello" and "Cimarrón," where the pianist spins durable filigree with golden wire. López-Nussa rolls out a soul jazz romp a la Les McCann on the title track that is infectious and uplifting. The trio adds trumpeter Mayquel González on "Eso Fue hace 20." González plays with a wide-open Latin bell, the type heard in every Ennio Morricone soundtrack for every Sergio Leone western. At a time when there is no shortage of Latin jazz makers, New Day provides an example of what is fresh and vital in the genre.
Track Listing: A Degüello; Cimarrón; Paseo; Fantasmas En Caravana; Otro Viaje; New Day; Corriendo Por Los Portales; Eso Fue Hace 20; Buenos Modales; Enero.
Personnel: Harold López-Nussa: piano, keyboards; Gaston Joya: double bass; Ruy Adrian López-Nussa: drums, percussion; Mayquel Gonzalez: trumpet (8-9).
I was first exposed to jazz while learning to play chess with my uncles. They would play smooth jazz, and then switch up to more standard types of jazz. But, when they played Kind of Blue by Miles Davis, I was
hooked and I haven't looked back.