Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
Post Rock Archive  |  About the Bloggers  |  E-mail: Click Track  |  On Twitter: Click Track  |  RSS Feeds RSS

In concert: Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers at the Warner Theatre

chucho valdesChucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers brought their beautifully crafted Latin jazz to the Warner Theatre on Saturday. (Juana Arias/FTWP)

By John Murph

Delivering invigorating Latin jazz was only part of pianist Chucho Valdés's agenda Saturday night at the Warner Theatre; he also affirmed alliances between various Afro-Cuban idioms and several American jazz legacies. Because visa restrictions had prevented Valdés from performing in the United States for the past seven years, his mission seemed all the more crucial.

To accomplish such diplomacy, Valdés and his Afro-Cuban Messengers focused mostly on music from his new disc, "Chucho's Steps," which laid out blueprints for his lofty goals. Whether on swooning ballads such as "Begin to Be Good" or blistering John Coltrane-esque exploits such as "Chucho Steps," all the musicians played with ferocity and precision. Still, it was 69-year-old Valdés who displayed the most galvanizing virtuosity as he repeatedly unraveled prolix solos, marked by jolting harmonies and anchoring montuno patterns.

chucho valdes

Still, some cultural-exchange attempts were more successful than others. While a fine showcase for Carlos Miyares Hernandez's raspy tenor saxophone, the transitions between post-bop balladry and danzón in "Danzón" were jarring. And the funky rumba tribute to the Marsalis family on "New Orleans" was more edifying than satisfying.

More gratifying was "Zawinul Mambo," Valdés's flinty homage to composer Josef Zawinul, on which drummer Juan Carlos Rojas Castro and percussionists Yaroldy Abreu Robles and Dreiser Durruthy Bambolé pounded out a percussive showdown. When the concert concentrated more on Afro-Cuban music, as on "Changó" and the encore "Los Caminos," both graced by Bambolé enchanting bata drum polyrhythms and sacred chanting to various Afro-Latin orishas, Valdés's goodwill was at its most persuasive.

chucho valdes

chucho valdes

chucho valdes

chucho valdes

By Click Track  | November 1, 2010; 11:14 AM ET
Categories:  In concert  | Tags:  Chucho Valdes  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: U2 coming to Baltimore; Alex Ross coming to Politics and Prose; The dawn of recorded sound at Library of Congress
Next: In concert: Corin Tucker Band at Black Cat

No comments have been posted to this entry.

Post a Comment

We encourage users to analyze, comment on and even challenge washingtonpost.com's articles, blogs, reviews and multimedia features.

User reviews and comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions.




characters remaining

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company