Patax Presents: Michael Jackson x 2

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    Patax Presents: Michael Jackson x 2

    There are two remarkable Latin Jazz tributes dedicated entirely to Michael Jackson that are really worth adorning a library of music: Unity, the one by Lima, Peru-born percussionist Tony Succar, and now these simply entitled one Patax Plays Michael (A Tribute) a 2015 studio recording that was released a year later in 2016 and its companion piece that was documented when Patax took their version of Michael Jackson’s iconic music on the road. This latter one became A Night to Remember in remembrance of the iconic November 17th 2015 concert at Teatro Calderón in Madrid, Spain. Both recordings unfolded in enormously ambitious productions driven by the percussionist Jorge Pérez, who fronts this Spanish super-group, Patax.

    Both albums comprise Michael Jackson’s the best known repertoire especially music from his seminal albums produced by Quincy Jones. Although the live package A Night to Remember is not supported by a DVD of the stage performance the visceral excitement of the performance is adequately represented by a superb recording split into two discs. Moreover the group puts the vocalist Alana Sinkey front-of-house and clearly this is a master-stroke. Miss Sinkey’s vocalastics are born of power and grace and it’s hard to think of Patax without her. The horns section is another reason why this music breaks the proverbial sound barrier. The shape of this music is forever changed every time the horns have their say and each time it recalls to mind the sound of the iconic Tower of Power band.

    Patax: Patax Plays Michael (A Tribute)

    Patax Plas Michael A Tribute
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    A total of 28 musicians have come together to make this recording, an extravagant production by any stretch of imagination. Although the music on this album is of a very high quality throughout – especially through songs such as “Thriller” and “Man in the Mirror”, the explosive crescendo is clearly the return of “Billie Jean”, which closes out the set. This is played as a rollicking Guaguancó. Here, obviously the percussionists – Jorge Pérez and Valentin Iturat who plays shekere with Victor González-Aceituno on cajón and Pedro Pablo Rodriguez who plays quinto on that track – shine brightly. It is, after all, a vehicle driven by the sensuous rhythm of this derivative of the rumba from Havana and Matanzas. Remarkably all of the moving pieces here work perfectly in conjunction with the percussionists to create a mighty tribute to the man the world knew as The King of Pop.

    Track list – 1: Black or White; 2: Billie Jean; 3: Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’; 4: The Way You Make Me Feel; 5: Keep the Faith; 6: Smooth Criminal; 7: Jam; 8: Thriller; 9: Man in the Mirror; 10: They Don’t Care About Us; 11: Black or White (Acoustic Version); 12: Billie Jean (Guaguancó)

    Personnel – Jorge Pérez: percussion, drums (8), backing vocals (7, 9, 12); Valentin Iturat: drums (1 – 7, 9, 10), shekere (12), backing vocals (7, 9); Carlos Sánchez: bass (1, 3, 5 – 7, 10, 11); Alain Pérez: bass (2, 9, 12), vocal improvisation (12), backing vocals (7, 9, 12); Tomas Merlo: bass (4, 8); Federico Lechner: piano (1, 2, 4, 5, 8, 10, 11); Jorge Vera: piano (3, 6, 7, 12); Daniel Garcia: piano (9); Roberto Pacheco: trombone (1, 3, 4 – 8, 12); Raúl Gil: trumpet (1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8); Fernando Hutardo: trumpet (9); David Carrasco: tenor saxophone (1, 5); Fabrizio Scarafile: tenor saxophone (3, 4, 6 – 9); Rafael Aguila: tenor saxophone (7); Pablo Anon: alto saxophone (9); Israel Sandoval: guitar (1, 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 10), acoustic guitar (11); Pedro Medina: Flamenco guitar (2), palmas (8); Marcos Collado: guitar (4, 7); Chuma Segura: guitar (9); Dani Morales: timbales (3, 7, 12); Georvis Pico: timbales (1, 2, 5, 6, 9); Pedro Pablo Rodriguez: quinto (12); Alana Sinkey: vocals and backing vocals (1, 2, ; Maika Sitte: backing vocals (1, 5, 6, 10); Astrid Jones: backing vocals (1, 5, 6, 10); Paloma Gomez: backing vocals (2, 3); Javi Ezpelata: backing vocals (2, 3); Lidón Patiño: taconeo (2, 4, 8, 10); Sergio Bascunana Gonzalez: palmas (2); Victor Gonzalez-Aceituno: cajón (2, 12)

    Released – 2016
    Label – Youkali Music
    Runtime – Disc One 1:18:24

    Patax: A Night to Remember

    Patax A Night To Remember
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    This live recording captures all of the excitement that must have rocked the house when Patax took their Michael Jackson tribute on the road. The group spices things up smartly with the inclusion of the “Habanera” from Bizet’s Carmen; then add the Jorge Pérez composition “La Ruth”, Sting’s “De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” and Madonna’s “Like A Prayer” to the mix. This might seem like an odd addition, but it – especially in the case of the Bizet aria – does make for an interesting twist to the programme. As mentioned earlier, it’s a pity that this package was not accompanied by a DVD of the concert. But there is more than adequate coverage of both discs on YouTube. The presence of Maureen Choi, one of the most gifted violinists on “Beat It” is one of the high points of this concert. Dee Burrows’ rap on five tracks really spices up these songs making the re-inventions altogether more memorable. Thus more’s the pity for the absence of the visuals.

    Track list – Disc One – 1: Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin’; 2: As Wrong As Can Be; 3: I Just Want To Make Love To You; 4: Habanera (Carmen); 5: Sin Postre; 6: They Don’t Care About Us; 7: Thriller. Disc Two – 8: Smooth Criminal; 9: Beat It; 10: La Ruth; 11: One Of These Days; 12: Billie Jean; 13: De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da; 14: Like A Prayer

    Personnel – Jorge Pérez: percussion and direction; Valentin Iturat: drums; Daniel Morales: timbales; Carlos Sanchez: bass; Marcos Collado: guitar; Federico Lechner: keyboards (2, 5, 7, 11); Daniel Garcia: keyboards (1, 4, 6, 12, 14); Jorge Vera: keyboards (3, 8, 9, 10, 13); Alana Sinkey: lead vocals (1 – 3, 5 – 9, 11, 12); Paula Dominguez: lead vocals (1, 4, 12, 14); Sheila Blanco: vocals (3, 10, 13); Roberto Pacheco: trombone; Raúl Gil: trumpet; Fabrizio Scarafile: tenor saxophone; Lidón Patiño: baile (6, 9, 12, 14); Maureen Choi: violin (9); Dee Burrows: rap (1, 2, 10, 13, 14)

    Released – 2017
    Label – Youkali Music
    Runtime – Disc One 58:14 – Disc Two 59:14


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