Chucho Valdes – Jazz Batá 2 (2018)
FLAC (tracks) 24-bit/48 kHz | Time – 56:02 minutes | 605 MB | Genre: Jazz
Studio Master, Official Digital Download | Front cover | © Mack Avenue Records
‘Jazz Batá 2′, Cuban composer, pianist and bandleader Chucho Valdés’ first album for Mack Avenue Records, marks a new peak of creativity for the artist, even as it revisits the small-group concept of his 1972 album ‘Jazz Batá’.
That album upon release was originally considered experimental at the time, but the trio project – featuring no drum set and two virtuosi who would subsequently be charter members of Irakere: Carlos del Puerto (bass) and Oscar Valdés (batâ: the sacred, hourglass shaped drums of the Yoruba religion in Cuba) – would now be considered contemporary.
Recorded in two and a half days at John Lee’s studio in New Jersey, ‘Jazz Batá 2′ is both rhythmic and lyrical at once. The six-hand complexity of the batá repertoire – the deep classical music of West Africa – permeates Valdés’ piano solos throughout the album. “I applied to my solos the different rhythms of the batá,” he says. “The piano is of course a harmonic instrument, but it’s percussive too, and you can play percussion with it.”
It’s an exceptionally tight band. All of the three supporting musicians – Yaroldy Abreu Robles, Dreiser Durruthy Bombalé, and Yelsy Heredia – are from the Guantánamo region and have deep roots in Cuban musical culture as well as being conservatory-trained. Yaroldy, who plays a wide variety of drums – congas, batá, bongó, orchestral percussion – has been working with Valdés for twenty years. “He always knows what I’m going to want to do,” says Valdés.
2. Son Xxi
5. Chucho’s Mood
6. 100 Años De Bebo
7. El Guije
8. The Clown
Chucho Valdés: piano
Yelsy Heredia: bass
Dreiser Darruthy Bombale: batas
Yaroldy Abreu Robles: percussion
Regina Carter: violin