****RINGER OF THE WEEK****Alexis Cuadrado: A Lorca Soundscape

Usually, I pick a Ringer of the Week because it is the “best” album I’ve heard, but this time I’m picking this one by bassist Alexis Cuadrado because it is the most fascinating. He brings together a first rate band of Miguel Zenon/as, Dan Tepfer/p, Mark Ferber/dr and Gilmar Gomes/perc, and by themselves, they mix traditional latin themes, but with a free looseness that melds folk and jazz in an intriguingly fascinating combination. Then, you’ve got vocalist Claudia Acuna who, while still keeping her jazz chops, delivers lyrics by poet Federico Garcia Lorca that has her voice in more of a village tonality than nightclub mood. Her delivery of tunes like “Vuelta de Paseo” or “Danza de la Muerte” has her in clear enunciation, but with a sliding pitch that feels more like a singer from the local café’. Musically, the mood shifts from hints of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Orchestra to folk music, with Zenon’s alto crying n the wind on “Asesinato” while the leader keeps it all together just when it seems like it will split at the seams. This one you’ll listen to over and over to figure out what you’re getting out of it, and I think you’ll be rewarded for your patience.

Sunnyside Records


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