Tyler Greenfield: Sunday Bolero

James Nadal By

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With the current resurgence in appreciation for Cuba and vinyl records, it is a pleasant occasion to write an article combining both. Pianist Tyler Greenfield's admiration for the Cuban bolero form created Sunday Bolero, a cultural realization produced on pristine 180 gram vinyl, yielding an intimate aural and sentimental experience.

Greenfield hails from New Jersey, where he is the founder of Bim Bom Studios. A serious pianist whose minimalist technique is ideal for this setting, he also brought in Cuban musicians to assist in the sessions. Foremost is vocalist Xiomara Laugart, whose interpretations are as authentic and emotionally perfect as one could imagine. The rest of the ensemble members also play impressive and realistic accompaniments, as the bolero has an accepted form and structure.

The compositions vary from two by jazz master Paquito D'Rivera, "Samba For Carmen," transposed from a brisk pace to a swaying ballad, and "Brussels In The Rain," is a solo piano implementation. The other piano pieces "Duele," "Monica's Interlude," and "Como Un Milagro," exhibit Greenfield's technical ability and conceptual awareness. Trumpeter Kali Rodriguez-Peña is featured on the enduring Cuban theme, "Siboney," and "No Te Importa Saber," adding an interesting element to the mix. Percussionist Gabriel Machado and bassist Jorge Bringas deserve, and earned, special recognition for their stellar support and contributions.

All the superb instrumentals aside, the bolero is, and has always been, famous for the romantic situations so emotionally portrayed by the vocalist. Xiomara Laugart was the obvious choice for Greenfield in this production, and she delivers with her customary style and grace. "Nosotros," is a luminous exchange of bass and piano solos, leading to an improvised montuno, while Laugart maintains the lovely message. "Sabor A Mi," enters that amorous area where Laugart dominates, as on "Tristezas," originally written in 1885, and considered as the "first bolero," presented in a sparse piano and vocal arrangement.

High marks for Tyler Greenfield on this endeavor, for the music presented here is complex, and requires an acute sense of sophistication to execute properly. The appropriate title Sunday Bolero, brings with it the attitude of laid back nostalgia, long associated with romantic boleros. His Bim Bom Studios spared no expense on the vinyl, which is an audiophile quality recording. For a musician to make a professional debut on vinyl, speaks volumes for his dedication and commitment to music, and appeals to the expanding populace who appreciates this medium.

Track Listing: Samba For Carmen; Nosotros; Tres Palabras; Como Fue; Brussels In The Rain; Sabor A Mi; Duele; Siboney; Monica Interlude; No Te Importe Saber; Tristezas; Como Un Milagro.

Personnel: Tyler Greenfield: piano, guitar; Gabriel “Chinchilita” Machado: percussion, backing vocals; Jorge Bringas: bass; Xiomara Laugart: vocals; Kalí Rodriguez-Peña: trumpet; Edgar Pantoja-Alemán: backing vocals.

Title: Sunday Bolero | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Bim Bom Studios


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