219

Chucho Valdes: Solo-Live in New York

By

Sign in to view read count
It’s a wonderful thing that Chucho Valdes has found such a healthy outlet for his aggression. Valdes demonstrates a dizzying exuberance at the piano during this 1998 solo date recorded at Lincoln Center's Kaplan Penthouse. Thoroughout the date it sounds like Valdes can barely contain his enthusiasm. Just when Valdes hits a repeating montuno and solicits clapping along from the audience he erupts into a free jazz cadenza ala Cecil Taylor. The clapping very abruptly tapers off. Valdes displays amazing versatility. During the performance he borrows liberally from the straightforward melodicism of Keith Jarrett, the strum-pum-pum of Chopin polonaises, the gospel soul of Ray Charles and myriad other sources. Most amazingly these eccentrities may all inhabit the same song. These pixilated influences do not dominate his style, however, the massive sound he pastes out of the grand piano does. He beats on the piano more than anybody this side of McCoy Tyner. It’s a credit to both the sound engineers and Valdes that there are points on the album where one can actually hear the metallic reverberation of the piano strings as the hammers slam into them. Valdes’ rhythmic drive propels the performance. At one point during "Tres Lindas Cubanas" he plays an impressionistic Debussy-like figure in his left hand and than simultaneously plays a montuno in his right hand. That kind of rhythmic bi-polarism betrays his exhaustive experience playing Latin jazz. Much of the time his ideas evolve into a son montuno which he plays to its bursting point. Just as the pretty lyricism of "A Mi Madre" seems to evaporate he comes back in with a "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" type of figure to move things along. Despite his rhythmic virtuosity, however, two of the strongest performances on the album, "Son" and "Tres Lindas Cubanas" are fairly simple but sexy Cuban melodies that unfold with deliberate pace. Recommended to fans of solo piano Live in New York shan’t disappoint. Fans of combo jazz may have difficulty listening to the whole performance at once.

Track Listing: 1. A Mi Madre (Valdes) - 7:33 2. Munequita Linda (Grieber) - 4:38 3. Rumba Guajira (Valdes) - 6:22 4. Besame Mucho (Velasquez) - 7:02 5. El Manicero (Simon) - 4:56 6. Somewhere over the Rainbow (Arlen/Harburg) - 5:07 7. Son (Farina) - 4:21 8. Novia Mia (Mendez) - 4:01 9. Delirio (Portillo) - 3:25 10. Tres Lindas Cubanas (Romeu) - 6:19 11. La Negra Tomasa (Rodriguez) - 6:27

Personnel: Chucho Valdes-piano

Title: Solo-Live in New York | Year Released: 2001 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read ON Tour CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read On a Distant Shore CD/LP/Track Review On a Distant Shore
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets CD/LP/Track Review Friends & Heroes: Guitar Duets
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 22, 2017
Read Signal 9 CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read For the Love of You CD/LP/Track Review For the Love of You
by Jack Bowers
Published: October 21, 2017
Read Recent Developments CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by John Sharpe
Published: October 21, 2017
Read "Stolen Moments" CD/LP/Track Review Stolen Moments
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 17, 2017
Read "The Lovers card" CD/LP/Track Review The Lovers card
by James Nadal
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "On A Monday Evening" CD/LP/Track Review On A Monday Evening
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 22, 2017
Read "My Head Is Listening" CD/LP/Track Review My Head Is Listening
by John Sharpe
Published: July 20, 2017
Read "Il sistema periodico" CD/LP/Track Review Il sistema periodico
by Nicola Negri
Published: March 27, 2017
Read "Retrorespective" CD/LP/Track Review Retrorespective
by Phillip Woolever
Published: June 15, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.