Alexey León is a Cuban-Russian saxophonist, flutist and composer. He was born in Manzanillo, Cuba and raised in Moscow, Russia. León won the prestigious Cuban Award “JoJazz 1st Prize” in 2017 and has three outstanding solo releases behind him: Cuba meets Russia (2015), Cuban Connection (2018) and Okudzhava For My Mother (2020). Influenciado is Alexey León’s fourth album.
Influenciado is a tribute to the Afro-Cuban jazz tradition and to the pioneers of Latin Jazz. This impetuous and dissonant jazz with an intense melody and a contemporary language has been inspired by classics, such as Chano Pozo, Dizzy Gillespie, Julian Cannonball Adderley, McCoy Tyner, Chucho Valdés & Irakére and Paquito D’Rivera.
Due to its harmonic structure, “Influenciado”, the title track, recalls the world-renowned standard of maestro Chucho Valdés, “Mambo Influenciado”, which represents the crossbreeding of the Cuban jazz. Inspired by the Masters’ work, Alexey created an original composition, which preserves the structure of the minor blues, with nods to the “Mambo Influenciado” and some more dissonant harmonic changes.
To interpret this music, León is accompanied by a group of outstanding Cuban jazzmen. At the piano, Caramelo de Cuba (Celia Cruz, Dave Valentin, Paquito D’Rivera and many more). In the rhythm section, Georvis Pico, Pedro Pablo Rodríguez and Reinier Elizarde el Negrón (the trio completes the Chucho Valdés Quartet). The trumpet is masterly performed by multiple Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winner Carlos Sarduy (Chucho Valdés, Irakére, Esperanza Spalding, Concha Buica, Richard Bona). The recordings also features one of the most renown Spanish drummers, Marc Miralta (Pat Metheny, Mark Turner, Avishai Cohen).
The album, deeply rooted in the Cuban musical tradition and the contemporary jazz, symbolizes Alexey’s evolution as a musician and as a human being, reflecting his constant search for personal and musical identity. The music on this tight and effortlessly performed album transmits exuberant energy of the two inexhaustible sources of inspiration: the Cuban music and jazz. It is a contemporary classic!
INFLUENCIADO LINE UP
Alexey León: Saxophones & Flute; Carlos Sarduy: Trumpet; Javier Gutie?rrez “Caramelo de Cuba”: Piano; Reinier Elizarde el Negrón: Double Bass; Georvis Pico: Drums; Pedro Pablo Rodríguez: Percussion
Special Guest – Marc Miralta: Drums
Produced by Alexey León
All compositions and arrangements ©by Alexey León except “The way you look tonight” (Dorothy Fields & Jerome Kern) and “Dat Dere” (Bobby Timmons)
Recorded by Shayan Fathi at Camaleón Studio in Madrid
Mixed and mastered by Pablo Schuller at Schuller Sound, Valencia
Influenciado is released on December 2021 – One World Records
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