Alchemy, A Tribute to Frankie Malabe

Alchemy- A Tribute to Frankie Malabe (Melantone Music), is an example of what happens when a musical essence incarnates in a
different place and time. Alchemy, composed, performed and recorded by Malabe’s
long time student, New York percussionist Nanette García and pianist Maurice Minichino,
serves as a body for the essence of the innovative Afro-Cuban conguero. A
context Malabe might have imagined but did not enter in his lifetime. For nearly
three years Nanette and Maurice lived in the context they created where the Malabe ‘invento’ spirit is the driving force behind every instrument used in
this work. At any given moment of this one hour suite there may be a batá rhythm
clustered with palo and Mala-songo, or bembe layered onto an invento in 7/4 time
following a clave in 4/4. Then there is the re-assignment of traditional
percussion instruments to other instruments such as reeds, strings and recycled
material which give another meaning to Frankie’s Inventos’ and breathe new life
into basic Afro-Cuban folkloric rhythms.
The artistry here is that it all happens with amazing subtly and space. Alchemy
tells a deeper story about a deeper musician and is not for those who seek
instant gratification but for those who are willing to listen’ and who are truly
ready for ‘change’. Alchemy’s larger picture speaks of preservation, evolution
and pushing boundaries. After all, pushing boundaries is what Frankie was all

Available from: Melantone Music

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music and progressive music for many years. He founded the websites and Angel produced several specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music and electronic music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World, Lektronic Soundscapes, and Mindchild Records. Angel is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.