The Afro-Cuban jazz of Chucho Valdés leaves a mark in Madrid
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- 07 / 13 / 2010
There are many differences among the two orchestras and formats chosen by Chucho throughout his more than 50 years career. Little has to do the super band Irakere, with which he worked for more than 25 years, and the musicians that accompanied last Tuesday the pianist.
However, Valdés wanted to pay tribute to his old group with the theme Misa Negra, one of the most significant songs in his career.
With Danzón the saxophonist Carlos Miyares began under a chachachá rhythm. As the own Chucho announced, this it is one of the songs of his new record that combines several genres, among them the ballad and the blue that are perfectly adapted to create a complex composition.
On the other hand, New Orleans is a "sugary" vision of the jazz, manufactured in the party rooms of that southern city. This song is a bridge between the banks of Mississippi and the Cuban beaches.
Much more Havana sound Yansá, which submerged the auditory in a deep Yoruba song of Dreiser Durruthy who also accompanied with batá drums and tribal dances the jazz sound of Valdés piano.
Then it was the time for Begin to be good, a composition that began being good and finished being simply exceptional.
In Zawinul Mambo the musician perfectly mixed the tradition with the vanguard. It is a tribute to the keyboard player Joe Zawinul, one of the artists who had a definitely influence in the trajectory of the winner of seven Grammy awards.
Chucho´s Steps is the name of the recording that gives title to Valdés´ new album and a memory "to the Cuban thing" dedicated John Coltrane who recorded Giants Steps in 1980.
The voice of Durruthy appeared again in Changó. This young 25 year-old artist has more than enough virtuosity and has the roots very present. Something similar happens with Yaroldy Abreu who with his congas created impossible melodies.
The public moved their heads timidly from left to right, enjoying with the experimental rhythms brought by the new proposal of Valdes and company.
The illusion of Chucho could be felt at first sight. He doesn´t have inconveniences in giving the prominence to the excellent musicians who surround him: he directs, plays and encourages each one of them so that they find their road in a magic direct.
Obatalá is another of the deities of the yoruba religion. For that reason, Mayra Caridad Valdés, the other daughter of Bebo, entered in the stage dressed as a santera (African religious dress).
Chucho rose from the seat, he directed with his fast hands a band that worships him as the great revolutionary of the Cuban jazz of the last quarter century. During the whole night it transformed into a party a performance that certifies that it is in shape.
To conclude it returned the only women voice of the band and with her the San José party. This song is pure Cuban folklore, entering up to the kitchen and reviewing the dishes of the rich insular gastronomy.
Valdés´ sister made everybody at the Sabatini Gardens to stand up, requesting palms, dance and licentiousness. With the public from Madrid standing up the visit of the brilliant group of Cuban musicians who thanked with their hands in the heart the deserved applause offered to them.
With Valdés, Spain and Cuba maintain alive their fraternity thanks to the art that sprouts between both countries. And it is that Havana is Cádiz with more black people, as says the letter of the song by Antonio Burgos popularized by Carlos Cano.
Chucho Valdés closed his Spanish week with the performances at the San Javier Jazz Festival (July 8) and in the Classic Mérida Theatre (July 9).