Remembering the Volcano of the Caribbean… Irakere

Irakere featuring Chucho Valdes - Live at Ronnie Scott's

Live at Ronnie Scott’s, Birmingham – The 1995 BBC Recording

This release is the perfect way to celebrate the 40th anniversary of probably the most influential and greatest Afro-Latin jazz band of all time, Irakere.

Finally the BBC legendary concert of Irakere has been released by First Hand Records. This is an album with 6 powerful and well known songs of the band, featuring a 12-piece ensemble, including the vocalists Leo Vera, Carlos Manuel, José Miguel Melendez, and the wonderful Mayra Caridad Valdés.

Irakere is a symbol of creativity, love, and passion for Afro Caribbean music. In this recording Irakere members show us their qualities on stage playing with incomparable feeling and beat, putting together a unique live sound and musical connection. Without a doubt this recording displays the talent and virtuosity of a band that 40 years ago surprised the musical world with an original style created from the most spiritual African music and sophisticated jazz. For all, including me, who look up to Chucho Valdés and his team, this CD is a tribute and a gift to  world music from a band which was a mix of miracles; the miracle of African music, the miracle of jazz, the miracle of aboriginal music, the miracle of classical music… the miracle of life.

The Afro-Cuban concert was recorded and broadcasted on May 27 of 1995 at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, in Birmingham, UK. It was an original BBC broadcast produced by Derek Drescher and remastered by Ian Jones at Abbey Road Studios, the popular recording studios immortalized by the British band The Beatles. This live concert, broadcasted originally on BBC Radio 3, is another proof of the encounter of world music. This rhythmical gem is a vivid example of the mastery of Irakere, The Volcano of the Caribbean. Watch out because the Earth is going to tremble; I hope the volcano catches you ready to dance and shout freely se baila sabroso!

Tracks: 1. ¡Pare cochero! (Stop, Coachman!), 2. Mister Bruce, 3. La explosión, (The Explosion), 4. Yemayá, 5. Tema del gordo (The Fat Guy’s Song), 6 Lo que va a pasar (What is going to happen).

Personnel: Chucho Valdés: piano and director; Leo Vera: vocal; Carlos Manuel: vocal; Mayra Caridad Valdés: vocal (track 4); José Miguel Meléndez: percussion and vocal; Juan Munguía: trumpet; Adalberto Lara “Trompetica”: trumpet; César López: alto saxophone; Alfredo Thompson: tenor saxophone; Carlos del Puerto: bass; Enrique Plá: drums; Andrés Miranda “El Negrón”: congas.

Label: First Hand Records
Release date: April, 2013
Irakere on the Web: www.valdeschucho.com
Buy Irakere’s music: amazon

Oscar Montagut
Oscar graduated in journalism and education in Colombia, and completed a postgraduate program in Creative Writing in Canada. He works as an English teacher, translator and freelance writer in Bogotá. Oscar is a music collector, explorer and promoter of World Music and Jazz.

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