Yuri Juárez has been exploring music for the guitar in what he calls “música criolla”, broadly, the Afro-Peruvian cultural topography. Following his epic guitar album Guitar Sapiens Mr Juárez has teamed up with another Peruvian, the percussionist, Jhair Sala who has gained considerable renown with the Pedrito Martínez Group although he is just as well-known for fronting his own groups recently. With this duo – sometimes performing here in extended configurations – Mr Juárez and Mr Sala dig deep into the music from their favourite patch of earth.
This is a rhythm-driven work comprising traditional music that is considerably refreshed by two experimental musicians who have been known to see far beyond the nationalistic horizons that performers of folk music often set themselves. Both guitarist and percussionist have been known to be adept at making old things new thanks, in part, to their close association with and study of Jazz, after moving to New York.
Thus in this repertoire the musicians interact with the fast and slow tempi of the traditional material breathing fresh life into all of it, illustrating that they are capable of literally running amok in outbursts of eloquence and effervescence as they – together with other improvising musicians as bassist Daymar Calvario, violinist Alí Bello, percussionists Pepe Santa Cruz and Juan Carlos Fuentes, vocalist Mariela Valencia and the inimitable Afro-Peruvian musical icon, Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón – dance their way through it.
The sombre lyricism of the opening valse “Celeste” soon gives way to vivid the polka “Promesa”. The romp into the backwaters of Peru continues as the shifting relationship between guitarist and percussionist, together with their contrabassist Mr Calvario, Mr Santa Cruz on tumbadora and violinist Mr Bello launch into the ebullient festejo, “No me cumbén”. Vivid tone colours and subtle textures emerge as the musicians ebb and flow through the valses and other traditional material as they are joined in by various other musicians.
Meanwhile the music swells with joyfulness and (sometimes) meditative moods and emotions. Melody, harmony and rhythms often stack up immensely; at other times they thin to the most diaphanous textures, but always they return to the same – traditional – point only to discover that the traditional viewpoint has changed; refreshed by the unique musical perspective of these fine musicians.
Track list – 1: Celeste; 2: El Parisién; 3: Promesa; 4: No me cumbén; 5: Burlona; 6: Idolatría; 7: Anhelos; 8: Anita; 9: Bandida; 10: Landó del exilio; 11: Morenos pintan a Cristo; 12: Celeste
Personnel – Yuri Juárez: guitars and voice (1); Jhair Sala: cajón, washboard (3, 7), campana y güira(4) and handclaps (11); Daymar Calvario: contrabass (3, 4, 5, 8, 9, 11); Alí Bello: violin (4); Pepe Santa Cruz: tumbadoras (4); Mariela Valencia: lead voice (5, 11); Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón: second voice, guapeo and cucharas (5, 11); Juan Carlos Fuentes: castanets (9)
Released – 2019
Label – Independent
Runtime – 47:59
In Conversation with Trombonist, Composer, Arranger Papo Vázquez
Miguel de Armas: Miguel de Armas and The Ottawa Latin Jazz Orchestra
Django Festival Allstars with special guest Edmar Castañeda Featuring Dorado Schmitt and sons Samson & Amati
Christian McBride’s New Jawn at Koerner Hall: Concert Review
Papo Vázquez Holiday Jazz & Latin Jazz Parranda with The Mighty Pirates Troubadours
Donald Vega: As I Travel
“They Shot The Piano Player” Screening At The Village East in New York And The Royal in Los Angeles
Una Navidad Nuyorkina: Celebrating 40 Years of Los Pleneros de la 21
The Latin Side of Jazz Episode 35
Sebastian Schunke: Existential Intensities
NPR’s A Jazz Piano Christmas with Melvis Santa, Alfredo Rodríguez and Hilario Durán
Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Borrowed Roses
Juan García-Herreros – The Snow Owl: Normas
Raphael Cruz Reaffirms His Commitment To Latin Jazz!
Edy Martínez, the Music Architect Behind the Piano
Rubén Blades con Roberto Delgado & Orquesta · Son de Panamá
Celebrating Emiliano Salvador and his Musical Legacy
Cubano Be, Cubano Bop: A Memorable Night in Toronto with Poncho Sánchez
A Conversation with Percussionist, Bandleader Poncho Sanchez
The Odyssey of Anat Cohen
Paquito D’Rivera & Quinteto Cimarrón: Aires Tropicales
Have You Seen My Nana? The Enduring Genius of Moacir Santos
Enrique Rodríguez: Enriquito – Me Quito El Sombrero
Roberto López Afro-Colombian Jazz Orchestra: Azul
Most Read in 2023
Featured Albums9 months ago
Aymée Nuviola feat. Kemuel Roig: Havana Nocturne
News10 months ago
Wilson “Chembo” Corniel Releases New Album: “Artistas, Músicos y Poetas”
News10 months ago
Aymée Nuviola To Release New Latin Jazz Album: “Havana Nocturne”
Events8 months ago
Tito Puente and Tito Rodriguez Centennial Celebration