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Gerardo Alfonso and his project Te de jazmin
His is one of those gardens where bad grass has never grown, but is filled with flowers, and with much perfume, as it is demonstrated by his project Té de jazmín (Jazmin Tea).

Before that, presented by the director of the project (the troubadour Enrique Núñez Díaz) and the director of the Pablo de la Torriente Brau Center, the poet Víctor Casaus, there took place the world premiere of the documentary Gerardo, el otro y el mismo (Gerardo, the other and the same), which was sponsored by that institution and the Canal Educativo 2 and directed by Mitchell Lovaina.

Outstandingly edited, with effects that demonstrate a movie nose (picture segments synchronized in the image with musical chords, framings and ingenious shots), the movie has a defect that, as people say, takes the whole body: the only thing that seems to interest the young producer about the artist, is his change of look through his hair, from the rasta look to short hair or the in between, with the respective explanations by Alfonso of the reason of such transformations in different moments of his career. Lake any other appearance, it dopes not really defines other true essential aspects of the life and work.

It is not objectionable, it is well known, any aspect selected by a movie maker of the chosen character for his documentary, but in this case, it is a shame that the emphasis becomes a redundancy, and especially that such a passionate personality and poetry, so rich and suggestive as the one of Gerardo Alfonso, may be reduced to a single (and not so important) aspect.

Luckily, a concert, like the one that followed it, was indeed sufficiently loquaciously about Alfonso’s career, as it made clear what the artist was worth: the permanent reinvention of the musician, of whom I have always admired, among other virtues, that reference wideness in his sol-fa syllables, and about the lyrics, that wise union between a popular language and a poet expression that do not fight each other. In this sense did the title of the documentary really take shape, which then fitted the concert much better: Gerarde is the same and at the same time he is always someone else.

If his voice with a peculiar tone has always said his creations very well, it is healthy that he now alternates with young and enchanting women of his band, who apart from being very well gifted also vocally, can play instruments, so other horizons might open up, other perspectives to the music by Alfonso, through this jasmines of the nice morning tea served to us by the room of the National Museum.

Nidia Crespo, who is also a competent bass player, stood out in La pantera, with a jazz rhythm and filled with crisps that force a correct modulation; Yaniuska Rodríguez, safe and audacious in the performance of winds (sax, flute) worked her version of a piece which will be even recorded in a CD by its author: Nuevos caminos, paying tribute to its title (New Roads) by going through successfully the difficult intervals of this sort of rock samba; on the other hand, more according to pop and rock, with an enviable high register, Dunia Correa (who is also very skillful with the guitars) excelled herself with Sacando fuego.

However, luckily, the singer and composer is still that. And so we received old and new pieces (renewed ones) like Paranoico, Y si te quieres divertir, El revolver or the unforgettable Sábanas blancas. We should note among the premieres (or at least what was still unknown by this critic), others from his original incursions into a sort of erotic song which is proud to be elegant without loosing (quite on the contrary) not even a touch of sensuality (La droga mía), the socio-cultural duality implied by the Yankee stamp (Comiendo del pastel Americano), and among the already classics, that high quality ballad of Giovanna, with the sensible piano of the singer and composer, or that post-modern version, a bit ironic and respectful of the novel The Perfume, the bestseller by Patrick Suskin.

When you enjoy of this wide and frequent Gerardo, you have to forgive him small things, when the things he was asked shows its hairy ear and the common place comes out, such as the theme of the TV program Cuando una mujer (Se puede ser).

The rest of the band can not be ignored, since they are also accomplices in the aesthetic results of every show: the musical direction of the piano player Roberto Castellá compliments the sound information of the composer, by designing complicated harmonic worlds that mix and separate the different rhythms and genres, from foreign countries as well as local. Juan Carlos Otero and Rodolfo Terry know how to give very personal touches to all of the percussion set (the first one to the very opportune Flamenco box and the second one to the drums).

A representative concert of an artist who is against going down the smallest step of his always ascending flight, we thank him also for the jasmines of a tea –as in that movie- full of sympathy.


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