Alfredo_rodriguez-cuban_jazz_span3
July/August 2003

Alfredo Rodrîguez
Cuban Jazz: Alfredo Rodrîguez y Los Acereko
Naxos World

Credit Alfredo Rodriguez for leaving the Big Apple for the City of Light in 1985 after imprinting his tight, swingingly polyglot piano playing on New York's escalating Latin dance scene of the '60s and '70s. Since, his flourishing as a leader is a remarkable sight and Cuban Jazz: Alfredo Rodriguez y Los Acereko (Naxos World) is a spike off the chart in his career. Joining Rodriguez's marvelous musicians in France this time are three of the most significant Cuban musicians ever: singer Bobby Carcasses and percussionists Tata Guines and Changuito. The rhythmic, harmonic and melodic salutary maturity in this danceable and infectious affair-even when most heated-has a labyrinthine genetic code amalgamated from various Afro-Cuban musical strands. Still, the code seeps in deep performances dripping as much jazz as contemporary Cuban timba and even classical European music. An overall witness to true excellence in all regards in a musical production, the vocal reinterpretation of "Caravan"-as a song to Afro-Cuban deities-is a first in jazz history. The onset of "Pa'gozar" features Changuito in a seldom-documented one-handed timbale rudiment/solo-with the other hand keeping a 2/3 clave. Inarguably, this is an upper-tier Cuban-jazz release of unbounded merit.

Originally published in July/August 2003
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