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Chano Dominguez

Chano Dominguez

While many musicians have flirted with the notion of melding jazz and flamenco music-notably Miles Davis and Gil Evans with their historic 1960 collaboration on Sketches of Spain and Chick Corea on his 1976 opus My Spanish Heart-few have bridged this jazz-flamenco divide as successfully and organically as Chano Dominguez. On Hecho a Mano (Sunnyside), the pianist-composer, who hails from Cadiz, Spain, draws heavily on his own rich Andalusian roots while mixing in American jazz, establishing a common ground between bulerias and swing, soleas and blues.

Consider his personalized take on Thelonious Monk’s “Bemsha Swing,” complete with authentic flamenco-styled baile (foot tapping) and palmas (clapping), or his entrancing piano-trio interpretation of Bill Evans’ “Turn Out the Stars.” Another prime example of how well these two musical forms are wedded on Hecho a Mano can be heard on Dominguez’s own “Pinar Hondo,” which shifts nimbly back and forth from flamenco forays to swinging 4/4 passages that reflect the influence of the whole American lineage of piano-trio jazz, from Art Tatum and Bud Powell through Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea and on to present-day disciples. Further proof of that easy melding of idioms is offered on “Solea Blues,” the mournful minor key “Bajamar” and the exhilarating “Cilantro y Comino.”

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