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SEDAJAZZ RECORDS: ‘Descarga for Bud’ is the exciting new album from Spanish pianist Alex Conde. A bold reinvention of the compositions of one of jazz’s most enigmatic figures, Bud Powell.
This revealing 9-track set uses these bebop landmarks as blueprints for an exciting fusion of Caribbean and Ibero-American musical tradition. Available on all platforms on 28 May 2021, and via Spanish label Sedajazz, Descarga for Bud is the second installment in the “Descargas” series, the first of which was his acclaimed 2015 release Descarga for Monk (Zoho).
For more than a decade, pianist Alex Conde has maintained a fruitful and versatile career as an orchestral composer and songwriter. His dazzling technique and unique musical presentation have taken him to some of the most prestigious stages in jazz. Revered critic Raúl da Gama says “[Conde] is a pianist whose music is sustained by the fecundity of his Spanish roots. All in all, Conde is absolutely thrilling”.
Conde has cemented a reputation as an accomplished performer with an astute approach to unifying Latin jazz with the musical traditions of his native Spain. His adventurous tribute to iconoclast Thelonious Monk, Descarga for Monk, received unanimous praise, as did his 2018 release with Ropeadope, Origins, which explored the roots of Afro-Cuban music and jazz from a flamenco perspective. With Descarga for Bud, Conde reunites him with multi-Grammy-nominated percussionist John Santos and acclaimed bassist Jeff Chambers, and adds drummer Colin Douglas to the mix. These experienced and versatile musicians are wonderfully suited to Conde’s astute arrangements of Powell’s compositions.
On tracks such as “Oblivion”, “Parisian Thoroughfare” and the popular “Bouncing with Bud”, Conde’s arrangements revolve around traditional flamenco forms such as Bulerías and Soleá, where he employs the talents of his compatriots Sergio Martínez on cajón and palmas and flamenco guitarist José Luis de la Paz. Paz’s unique contributions bring together the aesthetics of bebop and flamenco music in a particularly stunning and moving way. The album also features Mike Olmos on trumpet, who effortlessly lays genuine bebop lines over the bulerías arrangement of “The Fruit” and the complex and energetic “Tempus Fugit”.
“Hallucinations” leans into the classic Latin jazz idiom, while the rhapsodic melody of “Wail” is played like a jaunty calypso with Jeff Narrell doubling the melody on a steelpan.
In his liner notes for ‘Descarga for Bud’, Grammy nominee Julio Marti states, “[this album] is his best work to date. Alex makes the musical universe of this bebop genius his own and adds a rhythmic richness to it, both sophisticated and very refreshing”.
Throughout this brilliant new release, Alex Conde demonstrates his incredible skill as a pianist, taking inspired solos and ably supporting his bandmates. In his thank you notes he dedicates this album to the fathers of jazz, the African-American composers, who created this music and whom he has admired from a very young age. Descarga for Bud is a loving tribute to one of the architects of jazz, exploring the enormous stylistic potential of Powell’s work.
Alex has shared stage with artists such as Vicente Amigo, John Patitucci, Eddie Palmieri,Tomatito and Diego el Cigala…among others, at national and international festivals.
Record Label: Sedajazz SJ107
1) The Fruit (Bulería) (7:35)
2) Oblivion (Tangos) (6:53)
3) Bouncing with Bud (Alegría) (7:11)
4) Dusk in Saudi (Soleá) (5:30)
5) Wail (Calypso) (4:17)
6) Parisian Thoroughfare (Bulería al golpe) (5:59)
7) Hallucinations (Latin/Jazz) (5:38)
8) Tempus Fugit (Rumba) (3:40)
9) Celia (Bulería) (5:57)
All music composed by Bud Powell
Featuring:Alex Conde, Piano/arrangements
John Santos, Congas, Bongos on tracks (2, 5, 7, 8)
Jeff Chambers (Double bass)
Sergio Martínez (Cajon & djembe on tracks 1, 2, 3,4, 6 & 9)
Mike Olmos (Trumpet on tracks 1 & 8)
Jeff Narell (Steel pan on track 5)
Jose Luis de la Paz (Guitar on track 2 & 6)
Produced by Ricky Fataar
Co-Produced by Denny Abrams
Interview by 24/7 Valencia team