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05/06/12

Chano Domínguez
Flamenco Sketches
Blue Note Records

It would be a mistake to take the accomplished pianist Chano Domínguez’s Flamenco Sketches simply as an interpretation of Miles Davis’ music and not hear it as the vibrant new music it truly is. Expertly infusing all five of Davis’ tunes from the canonical Kind of Blue with the harmonies, flamenco rhythms, instrumentation and dance inventions of his native Spain, Domínguez delivers his own kind of jazz that is equally emotive and fun.

Gone are the horns of the source material—no one is trying to recapture Davis’ iconic trumpet or Coltrane’s tenor or Cannonball’s alto. Instead, Domínguez and his resourceful collaborators—percussionist Israel “Piraña” Suárez on cajón, singer Blas “Kejío” Córdoba, dancer Tomás “Tomasito” Moreno (whose percussive steps add texture) and bassist Mario Rossy—celebrate Davis’ creativity and adventurous spirit on their own terms.

Domínguez conceived this music as a commission for the Barcelona Jazz Festival, to coincide with Kind of Blue’s 2009 jubilee, and recorded it for Blue Note that year during a performance at Manhattan’s Jazz Standard. His inventive arranging and bandleading are the real achievements here, but he more than holds his own on keys as well: His attack is fluid yet deliberate, on the Kind of Blue repertoire as well as two additional Davis works, “Nardis” and “Serpent’s Tooth.”

Originally published in April 2012
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