Ever inventive and searching, bassist Alexis Cuadrado fearlessly navigates crosscurrents of modern jazz, Latin and world music to underscore the relation between today’s economic disparities with those of the past on A Lorca Soundscape, based on Federico García Lorca’s poems about 1929 New York. Vocalist Claudia Acuña gives the poet’s words a robust and emotional reading that surge with feeling and an appreciated efficacy. But the heavy lift is accomplished by Cuadrado (along with a band of sharp-eared and extremely talented musicians) who gives resounding shape to the material by translating the fire and passion of Lorca’s language into a work that’s resonant and sonically engaging.
Putting together a project like this benefits tremendously from Cuadrado’s fellow musicians – as a collective charged with interpreting this splendid work, pianist Dan Tepfer, alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, drummer Mark Ferber and percussionist Gilmar Gomes make an exemplary sonic impression. Precisely recorded up close and with resounding depth, A Lorca Soundscape is adept at conveying the sentiment of Lorca’s poetry, delicately yet emphatically shaped by Cuadrado’s carefully delineated bass. Credit for Cuadrado’s success here would be shared with engineer Mike Marciano, the man behind the soundboard on most of New York’s best jazz recordings. Despite omitting the translation of the song’s lyrics, Lorca’s passionate words are duly interpreted through Cuadrado’s effective arrangements and his exceptional band. (7 tracks; 50 minutes)
Labels: Alexis Cuadrado, Dan Tepfer, Gilmar Gomes, Mark Ferber, Miguel Zenon, Mike Marciano, Systems Two Recordings