Solo Piano

Solo Piano

by Chucho Valdés
     
 

Solo Piano marks the Blue Note debut of Chucho Valdés, Cuba's fiery pianist whose heavy chops and genre-bending vision made revolutionary inroads in Afro-Cuban jazz. Although his innovations were already well established with his group Irakere, it wasn't until his retreat from the band's sonic maelstrom with the release of…  See more details below

Overview

Solo Piano marks the Blue Note debut of Chucho Valdés, Cuba's fiery pianist whose heavy chops and genre-bending vision made revolutionary inroads in Afro-Cuban jazz. Although his innovations were already well established with his group Irakere, it wasn't until his retreat from the band's sonic maelstrom with the release of Solo Piano that the world was introduced so intimately to his dazzling virtuosity at the keyboard. The range of his abilities can be heard just by contrasting the intense, cyclical fury of "Isanusi" with the filmic jazz balladry of "Felia." Valdés also takes on two standards here: "My Foolish Heart" and "When I Fall in Love." On the former, he takes a widescreen, rhapsodic approach that brings out the impressionistic qualities inherent in the tune. The latter, one of the only two cuts with accompaniment, finds Valdés investing a gently bobbing pulse and subtle Cuban flavor into the proceedings, supported by bass, drums, and percussion. On "Blues (Untitled)," the band maintains a straight-ahead jazz pulse as Valdés flexes his bop muscles, indulging in some Thelonious Monk-inspired harmonic jabs. Indeed, while he is plainly inspired by the likes of Monk and Bill Evans (after whom one of the tunes here is titled), his insistent rhythmic touch has a uniquely Cuban flavor that earmarks his style as his own.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Scott Yanow
The leader and founder of Irakere, Chucho Valdes is also a brilliant pianist who may be on the same level of Gonzalo Rubalcaba. He has a very impressive classical technique and is able to hint at such players as McCoy Tyner, Lennie Tristano, and Cecil Taylor without watering down his Cuban heritage. This dazzling set covers a lot of ground with highlights, including "Blue Yes" (which is based on the chords of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation"), a sensitive Bill Evans tribute, and several nearly free explosions. Despite the CD's title, the final two of the ten selections add bass, drums, and percussion, and feature Valdes closely interacting with and pushing his sidemen. Highly recommended.

Product Details

Release Date:
04/20/1993
Label:
Emi Mod Afw
UPC:
0077778059721
catalogNumber:
80597
Rank:
60795

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