This self-titled album is a fitting tribute to Touré’s and Diabaté’s genius and friendship, and is a beautiful farewell.
Chucho Valdes is easily the living king of Cuban jazz piano. This anthology, issued by the premier Bele Bele Jazz Club label from Spain, is an overview of the roots of the pianist's development as both an interpreter of classic Cuban material and as an improviser. The first 12 tracks on the set, recorded in 1970, borrow heavily from the "feelings" movement of Cuban dancehall music from the late '40s and early '50s, with numerous compositions by Jose Mendez and Cesar Portillo de la Luz. There are also trademark Valdes originals such as his own "Preludio No. 1," based on Debussy's. Other tracks here, from 1982, borrow from the later dancehall traditions and lineages such as the "Evocations" series written by Jesus Valdez including one for Josh White! The first 12 cuts features Valdes with a stellar rhythm section that included bassist Orlando Lopez (Cachaito) and drummer Enrique Pla, and the last eight are solo.
Move over Valdes's and Rubalcaba's. There's a new royal family of Cuban musicians in the works. Here's a stunning Latin jazz release by Cuban pianist extraordinaire Harold Lopez-Nussa, nephew of acclaimed pianist Ernan Lopez-Nussa. Lopez-Nussa performs material from Jobim, Miguel Matamoros, Pablo Milanes, Santiago Felu, Cesar Portillo, Silvio Rodriguez, Cervantes and others. With Ruy Adrian Lopez-Nussa (a brother), Nestor G. Del Prado Fernandez, Yandy Martinez Gonzalez, guests Ernan Lopez-Nussa, Yaroldy Abreu and many others.
Don't pay attention to the title, which is absolutely nonsensical and bewildering – it suggests that This Is Me…Then is a compilation, which it isn't, and it also suggests that this has some sort of theme, which it doesn't – and concentrate on the music, which is the strongest, sultriest, best music Jennifer Lopez (who has abandoned the moniker J-Lo) has recorded for any of her three albums. This, of course, doesn't mean that it's a radical musical departure, though there are differences here – the glitzy dance-pop has been phased out, there's a stronger urban soul vibe, particularly on the lush surfaces and sexy grooves.
Featuring intimate documentary footage and interviews with Lopez and her closest friends, as well as spectacular in-concert renditions of many of her biggest hits, the docu-concert goes behind the scenes of the superstar’s first world tour…