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Briyumba Palo Congo


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Audio CD, June 8, 1999
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Chucho Valdés's piano-led recordings are studies in musical tension and dialogues. On Briyumba Palo Congo, he enlists a pair of percussionists, and Raúl Pineda Roque, the trap drummer, shares with Valdés a smolder that turns to conflagration when their tense interplays burst. Of course much of the fire is locked into the percussion dialogues where patterned drumming inspires improvisation amid fairly strict rhythmic controls. Valdés runs away from the pack in spots, shuffling across the keyboard leaving a wake of chromatic color. Roque does the same, exploding on his drums in fits of even tempos and being tugged back into the Cuban rhythmic rumble promptly by Roberto Vizcaíno Guillót's conga and batá drums, if not Valdés's own hyperimaginative harmonic runs. This is certainly not as flashy as Gonzalo Rubalcaba's dazzling explosions, and with the title suite's choral and vocal exclamations, it's rooted much more solidly in Afro-Cuban traditions. With his medium-hot pacing and his ability to blow solos wide open, it's clear that Valdés's years in Irakere barely prepared the ears for piano work of this magnitude. --Andrew Bartlett

Review

Pianist Valdés once again puts Cuban and American music through the speed blender of his imposing technique, swirling together cuban secular dance rhythms and religious music with swing, bop, modal, and free jazz at a dizzying pace. His second Blue Note effort away from Irakere (his long-standing Afro-Cuban answer to the Jazz Messengers) spotlights his staggering chops with a quartet featuring bassist Francisco Rubio Pampin, drummer Ra·l Pineda Roque, and percussionist Robert Vizcaino Guillet. "El Rumbon," played over an uncharacteristically fast guaguanco rhythm, features the pianist's surreal changes of direction, as he cartwheels between hammered two-note drum patterns, McCoy Tyner-ish chords, blindingly fast lines, and blues licks. Ellington's "Caravan" features devilish left-hand patterns and accents that explode into dark, atonal note clusters, then downshift into the type of four-four chording that Erroll Garner would have related to. Valdés saves the most audacious ideas until the end of the album. "Ponle le Clave" grafts the basic clave rhythm and montuno piano vamps onto a 7/4 meter. Gershwin's familiar "Rhapsody in Blue" is reshaped as an elegant danzün. The title track, the most experimental on the disc, blends a celebratory Palo religious chant with stride and gospel accents from Valdés. Then it opens into a free-tempo exchange between singers, percussionists, and piano, before ending with an unaccompanied piano solo that alternates between frantic energy and quiet lyricism. Sometimes, the pianist's skill and overheated imagination can get the better of him, turning the music into directionless technical displays, but when everything clicks, there are few more exciting or provocative pianists in jazz.

--- JAZZIZ Magazine Copyright © 2000, Milor Entertainment, Inc. -- From Jazziz


Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. El Rumbon (The Party) 7:52$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Bolero (Ballad) 6:16$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Caravan 7:01$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Embraceable You 6:03$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Ponle La Clave (Put The Time On It) 9:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Rhapsody In Blue 7:08$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Briyumba Palo Congo 9:59$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 8, 1999)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Blue Note Records
  • ASIN: B00000J26G
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #87,694 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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About Cuban pianist, composer and arranger Chucho Valdés and his new album BORDER-FREE

In the eight pieces that comprise this album -- all but one originals -- the lines that define the limits of traditions and styles blur and disappear. There are nods to flamenco and the Gnawa music of Morocco, but also to the ritual rhythms of the Orishas, the deities of the Afro-Cuban ... Read more in Amazon's Chucho Valdes Store

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jordi Falgàs (falgasroura@mx3.redestb.es) on July 24, 1999
Format: Audio CD
In this album, the piano of Jesús "Chucho" Valdés is featured in all its fullness, rich and strong. Only a great master like him could place a "Caravan" at the level of Thelonious Monk's and Randy Weston's interpretations (the upcoming album by Gonzalo Rubalcaba has another of the same caliber). But it is with his four original compositions that Valdés' opus enters the category of universal, especially with the album title-track, a follow-up of his recent album with Irakere, Yemayá. Leonardo Acosta is right in the album liner notes when he concludes that "listening to Briyumba Palo Congo is certainly an exhilarating and unique experience".
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By SETH M KLEINMAN on July 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Quite simply stunning. Essentially flawless, the only criticism I can think of is that his effortless genius is intimidating. Moving, challenging, reeking of musicality, rythmic greatness.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Bradley Chodos Irvine on December 21, 1999
Format: Audio CD
Like most of the music Chucho Valdez plays in whatever the setting - solo, with Irakere, with Roy Hargrove's band, or with his own jazz quartet, this recording is full of brilliant playing both from Chucho and from the percussionists. The guy is a giant and effortlessly connects the African roots of jazz to the traditional. A beautiful record and one worth savoring.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Arthur Manukyan on September 28, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Another great pice of work from one of the masters of Cuban music. Bebo Valdes a master pianist brings us the wonderfull and rich world of the Cuban culture through his music. Bebo is second generation musician and is succeeded buy his son Chucho Valdés the gentle giant and the best Latin piano player today. Album is a deffinate keeper and a wonderfull addition to your collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 8, 1999
Format: Audio CD
In his rigth roots to make one of the most brillants jazz stars of the end of this millenium, Jesús "Chucho" Valdez dedicate the most better arragement of the "Taphsody in Blue" latin jazz-style, that I can heard. The latin break of this classical theme of George Gershwin theme, with the introduction of the Joaquín Olivero Gavilán-flute, is unique, and a demostrate that Cuba have the most jazz nnovators musics, in this time.
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By Victor Akinade on February 14, 2015
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Pretty good album, the tracks are diverse and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.
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