Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Paquito D’Rivera Quintet: Funk Tango

D’Rivera calls his “favorite” core grouping a “quintet?” with a question mark because of his preference for a flexible five-piece, one that can contract to a duo or expand to a larger ensemble. His basic five here includes himself on alto and clarinet, Argentine trumpeter/valve trombonist Diego Urcola, Israeli pianist Alon Yavnai, Peruvian bassist Oscar Stagnaro and Chicago drummer Mark Walker, augmented at times by pianists Edward Simon and Fernando Otero, bandoneon master Hector del Curto, and percussionists Pernell Saturnino and Pablo Stagnaro.

This CD, D’Rivera’s first self-produced, should be considered one of the best of 2007-the quality of the playing, compositions and arrangements are all of the highest order. Urcola’s beautiful ballad “Final Waltz,” Stagnaro’s mystical Afro-Cuban excursion “Mariela’s Dream,” D’Rivera’s mournful “Como un Bolero,” Otero’s intense “Milonga 10,” Yavnai’s tango/hard-bop “Funk Tango,” Walker’s Brazilian-rhythm’d “What About That!,” Simon’s sinuous “Pere,” and last but not least, D’Rivera’s “Contradanza,” his sensational duet on clarinet with pianist Yavnai, in sum leave the listener satiated but wanting still more. And more comes with an exceptional version of Piazzolla’s “Revirado,” a cleverly Latinized “Giant Steps,” and “La Yumba-Caravan,” Juan Tizol’s classic transformed brilliantly into an amalgam of tango and bop influences.

Start Your Free Trial to Continue Reading

Become a JazzTimes member to explore our complete archive of interviews, profiles, columns, and reviews written by music's best journalists and critics.
Originally Published