2

Miguel de Armas: What’s to Come

C. Michael Bailey By

Sign in to view read count
Well, there is a word for it. tumbao. The Urban Dictionary defines, tumbao, as "An Afro-Puerto Rican word (or African Caribbean...), which means "an indescribable African sexiness or swing." I have always wanted to know what that thing in Latin jazz is: that certain attitude and approach that runs through the body when this music is heard. It is appropriate that this "thing" be defined as, and prove as elusive as, the concept of "swing" in the mainstream jazz vernacular. Cuban pianist and composer Miguel de Armas possesses a boatload of this tumbao, which is necessarily nourished by the clave rhythm, genetically driving Latin music. Armas heaps both generously into the compositions making up his release, What's to Come, a slick, contemporary imagining of "that thing" provided us from the Afro-Cuban contributions to music in the Western Hemisphere.

What What's to Come is not, is not an exposition of a Bebo Valdes and Chucho Valdes method of playing. North America's re-acquaintance with Cuban music stimulated by the Buena Vista Social Club recordings produced by Ry Cooder was a much more organic experience than is had on What's to Come. Armas ensures that all of the necessary Latin elements are present in his recording while, at the same time, expanding the perimeter of the genre by interpolating elements from adult contemporary jazz and pop. Armas' use of synthesizers alone ensures this palette expansion. Armas displays grace and creativity in his highly-stylized compositions expertly rendered by his band of fine musicians, including, on one cut, soprano saxophonist Jane Bunnett. This is beautifully sophisticated music that is readily enjoyable.

Track Listing: Yasmina; A Song From My Little Son; La Dama y el Perro; His Bass and Him; Pam Pim Pam Pum; Illusion; What’s to Come; Rumba on Kent; Tango Asuncion; Freddie’s Drink.

Personnel: Miguel de Armas: piano and keyboards; Michel Mendrano: drums and percussion; Marc Decho: bass (2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 9); Arien Villegas: congas (5); Alexis Baro: trumpet and flugelhorn; Roberto Riveron: bass (1); Carlitos Medrano: congas and percussion (1, 3, 5, 8, 10); Mathiew Senechol: bass (4, 8, 10); Galen Weston: electric guitar (4); Jane Bunnett: soprano saxophone (7).

Title: What’s to Come | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: MDA Productions

About Miguel de Armas
Articles | Calendar | Discography | Photos | More...

Tags

Watch

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Related

Read Cause and Effect
Cause and Effect
By Ian Patterson
Read Geschmacksarbeit
Geschmacksarbeit
By John Eyles
Read Emergence
Emergence
By Geannine Reid
Read Never More Here
Never More Here
By Dan McClenaghan
Read Lanzarote
Lanzarote
By Gareth Thompson
Read Strong Thing
Strong Thing
By Geannine Reid
Read Ocean in a Drop
Ocean in a Drop
By Geno Thackara