Articles

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

RADIO

A conversation with Elio Villafranca

Read "A conversation with Elio Villafranca" reviewed by Lorens Chuno

Pianist and composer, Elio Villafranca's new album, Cinque is the product of an earnest and careful execution of creativity. This album seamlessly educates and entertains, and in the same breath invites the listener to introspect. Join me as I talk with the Cuban pianist about Cinque, Cuba, Childish Gambino, and other carefully related topics. Cinque features Elio Villafranca on piano, Vincent Herring on alto & soprano sax, flute, Greg Tardy on tenor sax, clarinet, ...

CATCHING UP WITH

Elio Villafranca: Five Islands & A Revolt

Read "Elio Villafranca: Five Islands & A Revolt" reviewed by John Ephland

The setting was Systems Two, a well-known, state-of-the-art recording studio in Brooklyn. The sessions, occurring over five days in May (7-11) 2017, were set up to record Cuban pianist/composer Elio Villafranca's sixth album, the elaborate and thoroughly rehearsed double-CD Cinque (artistShare), the music previously performed in shows at Lincoln Center in 2015. Present at Lincoln Center and at Systems Two was a well-coordinated team of musicians, including Steve Turre (trombone, conch shells), Greg Tardy (tenor saxophone, clarinet), Vincent ...

NEW YORK BEAT

Jazz at Lincoln Center: The Search for Original African Music

Read "Jazz at Lincoln Center: The Search for Original African Music" reviewed by Nick Catalano

Although jazz emerged as an art form around the turn of the Twentieth century in the southern United States, its roots extend backward over several centuries. The music largely developed from a synthesis of many African and European forms that was achieved through the institution of slavery. Blacks were captured or purchased from specific “factory" areas in West Africa--the Portuguese took from Senegal and transported to Brazil, the English plundered the Ashantis of the Gold Coast and sold them in ...

EXTENDED ANALYSIS

The Caribbean Tinge: Live from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola

Read "The Caribbean Tinge: Live from Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola" reviewed by Steve Bryant

Ever since the jazz was created in the clubs and dancehalls of New Orleans, there was always a significant influence from the Caribbean region, specifically from Cuba. The island, which was just a ferry ride from the port city, had such a significant effect on the development of the music that Jelly Roll Morton always spoke of the importance of Afro-Cuban based rhythms (the Spanish Tinge) in creating and performing this nascent music. However, it was the arrival of a ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Elio Villafranca and Arturo Stable: Dos Y Mas

Read "Dos Y Mas" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Pianist Elio Villafranca and percussionist Arturo Stable have the world at their fingertips. They originally hail from Cuba, where they received classical training and soaked in the sounds of the people before coming Stateside. But they don't limit their vision to their mutual point of origin. Spain, the Middle East and Africa, along with the sounds of their homeland, come into view on Dos Y Mas as these two meld their minds and marry their musical intentions to create a ...

INTERVIEW

Elio Villafranca: The Source In Between

Read "Elio Villafranca: The Source In Between" reviewed by Chip Boaz

Cuban born pianist Elio Villafranca has spent a lifetime observing the space between different worlds. He spent his childhood in the small Piñar de Rio region on the Western coast of Cuba and then jumped into the centralized bustle of Havana. He went through a broad and varied musical education that not only focused on the piano, but also included intensive investigations of the guitar, percussion, and composition. He immersed himself in the complex musical constructions of Havana's academic classical ...

ALBUM REVIEW

Elio Villafranca Quartet: The Source In Between

Read "The Source In Between" reviewed by Marcia Hillman

Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca has found the way to celebrate both his Latin jazz roots and straight-ahead jazz influences on The Source In Between. Along with tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, drummer Dafnis Prieto, bassist Jeff Carney and also featuring saxophonist Yosvany Terry, hand percussionist Arturo Stable and drummer Ferenc Nemeth on selected tracks, Villafranca wends his way through a selection of original compositions that bespeak of both the Latin and jazz genres. Ordinarily a CD with only ...


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