9 Songs, 1 Hour 3 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Manuel Valera has made a considerable impression on the New York jazz scene since emigrating from Cuba a decade ago. Here with his six-piece working band New Cuban Express, Valera showcases his own rhythmic drive, sharp ear for melody, and arranging prowess. He’s aided and abetted by saxophonist Yosvany Terry, trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, and guitarist Tom Guarna as the rhythm section roils away on tunes like the horn-driven “Descargando” and the angular “Bantu.” They also bring it down to a gentle simmer for “Storyteller” and “Para Emiliano.” It's definitely one of the best Latin jazz efforts of 2014.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Manuel Valera has made a considerable impression on the New York jazz scene since emigrating from Cuba a decade ago. Here with his six-piece working band New Cuban Express, Valera showcases his own rhythmic drive, sharp ear for melody, and arranging prowess. He’s aided and abetted by saxophonist Yosvany Terry, trumpeter Alex Sipiagin, and guitarist Tom Guarna as the rhythm section roils away on tunes like the horn-driven “Descargando” and the angular “Bantu.” They also bring it down to a gentle simmer for “Storyteller” and “Para Emiliano.” It's definitely one of the best Latin jazz efforts of 2014.

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About Manuel Valera

Cuban-born pianist/composer and bandleader Manuel Valera is a forward-minded jazz musician with a knack for combining myriad Latin styles with contemporary jazz and post-bop. Starting out as a saxophonist while studying at the Manuel Saumell Conservatory in Havana, Valera switched full-time to piano after moving to the United States and enrolling in the New School in New York City around 1994. He has performed with a variety of name musicians, including bassist John Patitucci, reed player Paquito D'Rivera, saxophonist Seamus Blake, percussionist Dafnis Preito, trumpeter Claudio Roditi, and many others. He released his debut album, Forma Nueva, on Mavo Records in 2004. Since then he has released a handful of records, including Melancolia in 2006 and Vientos in 2007. Currents arrived in 2009, with New Cuban Express following in 2012. ~ Matt Collar

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