Wednesday, March 7, 2012

From Within

Hearing that the incredible Dominican pianist Michel Camilo was playing during this Spring Season, I immediately thought of his appearance in Fernando Treuba’s masterful Latin jazz performance film, Calle 54. Of all of the segments in the film, the performance of his composition “From Within,” in a trio with six-string bass virtuoso Anthony Jackson and the truly remarkable Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez on drums, has stuck with me the most. Almost everyone I’ve ever discussed the film with, particularly musicians, have also singled out that performance for its nearly superhuman level of telepathy, precision, passion and sheer musicianship. Camilo is a whirlwind, continually building intensity throughout the tune like a Latin jazz Oscar Peterson; Jackson proves why he is among the most esteemed bassists on the planet; and as for Hernandez, he was one of the first to successfully condense the Afro-Cuban percussion section into something playable by one (unbelievably gifted) individual. Note the pedal-played cowbell he uses to crank out a 3-2 rumba clave rhythm at 2:58.

April’s show should be a stunner, no doubt. Lincoln Goines is a monster player, who’s had lengthy associations with Mike Stern and Dave Valentin, among others. I remember the stir in the jazz press created by Long to be Loose and 2 Drink Minimum, the two mid-90s albums by guitarist Wayne Krantz featuring Goines and drummer Zach Danziger. What can you say about Giovanni Hidalgo? One of the greatest congueros alive is a start. I’m sure our own Rebeca Mauleón can speak to that, since I know Giovanni has worked with her on her projects. He has a ridiculous résumé that includes Dizzy Gillespie, Paul Simon, Flora Purim, Tito Puente, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Eddie Palmieri, and on, and on, and on. Enjoy!
 — Rusty Aceves


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