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Manuel Valera Group: Melancolia

Melancholia verifies that Manuel Valera’s 2004 recording debut, Forma Nueva, was what it seemed: the introduction of a major new talent.

Many current players create interest through a synergy of technical facility, postbop jazz fluency and Hispanic cultural roots. Valera is one of them, but his aesthetic vision is more universal. He is from Cuba, with piano chops of doom, and Melancholia is a rich, diverse program of sustained creativity, presenting the leader’s fresh, complex writing and also Rachmaninoff (“Prelude in C# Minor”) and Cuban composer Silvio Rodriguez (the title track).

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