It was supposed to be an evening of sheer virtuosity, and that’s what it was.
Intense head music and powerful foot music, but this show needed a little more heart.
Chucho Valdés moved almost seamlessly from African-Cuban rhythms and chants in Yoruba or Spanish to a hip modern jazz style. The latter, paradoxically, owes much to the brilliant runs and glissandi of Art Tatum, the bluesiness of Horace Silver, and the power of the left hand chords of McCoy Tyner.
Of course, that was the reason I was there. One of the best features of the London Jazz Festival is the programmers’ willingness to expose musicians from other world music traditions who engage with jazz in some meaningful way . . . By Steve Elman. Well, I just can’t remember the name of that pop […]