Flamenco Sketches (Blue Note Records, 2012)
Spanish jazz pianist Chano Domínguez has a new album titled Flamenco Sketches that is available to international audiences. Domínguez is known for his masterful combination of jazz and flamenco forms. Flamenco Sketches is a reinterpretation of Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue, with a Spanish twist.
The Flamenco element comes in the form of musical instruments, palos (Flamenco genres), rhythms and vocals. The line-up on the album includes Chano Domínguez on piano, Mario Rossy on bass, Israel “Piraña” Suárez on percussion, Blas “Kejío” Córdoba on vocals, palmas (handclap percussion) and Tomás “Tomasito” Moreno on palmas.
Flamenco Sketches was commissioned by the Barcelona Jazz Festival in combination with the 50th anniversary of Kind of Blue. The album was recorded live at Jazz Standard in New York. Flamenco Sketches includes all of the Kind Of Blue plus two of Davis’s most popular songs, “Nardis” and “Serpent’s Tooth”.
Miles Davis had a great interest in the music of Spain, as indicated on his groundbreaking album Sketches Of Spain. With “Flamenco Sketches” Chano pays expressive respect to the trumpeter and his music. “For me the music of Miles has been a constant in my apprenticeship as a musician,” Chano says. “It is very important to preserve the spirit of musical freedom that permeates the entire work of Miles, so I changed some elements in the music to approach the language of my culture.”
Sebastián Domínguez Lozano, better known as Chano Domínguez, was born in Cadiz on March 29, 1960. His father was an ardent flamenco enthusiast and young Chano grew up listening to his LPs. Chano started playing keyboards with Cai, one of the best rock groups in Andalusia (southern Spain). Cai fused traditional Andalusian roots music with progressive rock and fusion. The young keyboardist’s impressive solos and improvisations foretold a promising future.
After Cai’s breakup early in the 1980s, Chano became part of a jazz group called Hixcadix, which was also made up of musicians from Cadiz. In 1992, he decided to form his own trio. Chano led the group with his personal speech and musical style, fusing flamenco rhythms with the musical forms of jazz. That same year, he was awarded First Prize in the National Jazz Competition for Young Interpreters and he released his first two records: Chano and Diez de Paco (Paco’s Ten).
Once Chano established himself as one of the great names in Spanish jazz, his fame spread beyond Spain’s borders.
Flamenco Sketches is music with emotional depth, a passionate and innovative mix of jazz and flamenco, performed by one of the great jazz piano masters of our time together with his finely-calibrated Flamenco ensemble.
Author: Angel Romero
Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV 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 albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.