Chucho Valdés and Pablo Milanés: Piano and voice in Havana
The sound of one of the greatest piano players of Latin jazz, and a voice that keeps impressing people, despite the 65 years of age of its owner, got together in a series of songs - with lyrics by Milanés and the music by Valdés - that went from the soft to the relentless, from the sublime to the deep, all in a natural and simple way. They are two virtuosos who are used to taking the best out of their instruments.
Valdés and Milanés, both Grammy Award winners, made this record while they were touring outside Cuba. They were in different countries and they exchanged e-mails and phone calls to finalize details concerning the music, the lyrics, the arrangements and other aspects. One of the few times that they could see each other was when Valdés wanted to dedicate the music from one of the songs to his mother, and Milanés told him that he could not get the inspiration for it unless he met her. Then, they arranged a meeting with Pilar, and the final result was a beautiful piece where Milanés asks the old woman to love him like her youngest son.
The concert by both musicians was included in the program of the Havanas jazz festival, which is held every two years and is attended by musicians from Cuba and other countries. Valdés himself is the festivals president and he is the one who invites the foreign musicians.
The public became very sensitive during all the songs by Pablo and Chucho. The words of the record are essentially spiritual. Some of them are filled with nostalgia, and they are all wrapped around the mist of feelings, as it has been typical of Pablo, who has chosen to show the sentimental side in his compositions of the last ten years. However, he seemed to be renewed, supported by the vitality of his voice - even though it looked like he had a cold - and driven by the power of love, which is the thread of the 10 pieces from this adventure with Chucho Valdés.
As usual, Valdés showed his mastery on the keyboards. His sensitiveness and passion are as great as his talent and experience, as evidenced during the concert when he continued playing, even though the papers with the music he was reading had fallen on the floor.
Playing for an audience that was spellbound by such an unusual duet and that enjoyed singing some of the most famous songs from the Cuban troubadour that were included in the concert - such as Yolanda and El breve espacio en que no está - Pablo Milanés and Chucho Valdés offered a concert that is worth playing in the most important theatres of the world. They already did it in Brazil, and even though they didnt mention it, they will surely do it in other countries as well.
Â¨In Brazil, it was like a rehearsal. It was really like a rehearsal. The real presentation of this record is happening right here, right nowÂ¨, said Pablo Milanés. And the audience turned into euphoria, whether or not they were aware of the fact it was a privilege to be there.
Source: By Mario Vizcaino Serrat, CubaNow.net