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Hecho A Mano by Chano Dominquez

The connections between Jazz and Flamenco are not hard to imagine. They both are based on an Improvisational language, they share African origins through the Moorish Conquest of Spain, and they both emphasize rhythm and are both music created by oppressed peoples: Blues Peoples - one the descendents of African Slaves and the other Spanish Gypsies. One difference is the emphasis on Guitar in Flamenco and on the Piano in Jazz. The solution is being forged by Cadiz born Pianist Chano Dominquez. Hearing Flamenco Music from childhood and being drawn to Jazz in his teens it was a natural progression to creating a true Flamenco Jazz Fusion. The strategy seems deceptively simple at first- to improvise over the traditional Palos - hand clapped patterns- using them as the rhythmic basis and exploring them with Jazz harmonies. He uses this process in his rethinking of 2 Jazz classics: Bill Evans’ "Turn Out the Stars" which is played as a 6/8 and Monk’s "Bemsha Swing" performed with solo piano accompanied by Zapateado which to American ears sounds much like Jazz Tap dancing, bringing up yet another cultural touch point. The percussive palette includes the Palas, Tablas, Cahon, Tambourines as well as traditional drum set. There are 9 originals and all of them seem to explore a different area of the Jazz/Flamenco fusion puzzle- giving equal respect and weight to both traditions without losing artistry and coherence. Chano Dominquez navigates this territory with confidence and vision. A virtuoso with a seemingly unlimited palate of colors he continually surprises with his innovative melodic and harmonic choices. It is complex and sophisticated music while remaining natural and organic. The Fusion process works and never seems forced or artificial. The overall color is dark and mysterious as befits a music originally played by firelight. His use of the piano echoes the guitar and perfectly compliments it. The accompanying musicians also are responsible for the success of the project including the fat, dark acoustic bass of Javier Colina. This group of Spanish artists have joined Chano to create a new world resting on ancient traditions. "Hecho a Mano" (Made by hand) has opened a door and possibilities that can continue to be explored and expanded.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Chano Dominquez
  • CD Title: Hecho A Mano
  • Genre: World Music
  • Year Released: 2003
  • Record Label: Sunnyside
  • Rating: Five Stars
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