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Solo Piano

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Album Review

The leader and founder of Irakere, Chucho Valdes is also a brilliant pianist who may be on the same level of Gonzalo Rubalcaba. He has a very impressive classical technique and is able to hint at such players as McCoy Tyner, Lennie Tristano, and Cecil Taylor without watering down his Cuban heritage. This dazzling set covers a lot of ground with highlights, including "Blue Yes" (which is based on the chords of Charlie Parker's "Confirmation"), a sensitive Bill Evans tribute, and several nearly free explosions. Despite the CD's title, the final two of the ten selections add bass, drums, and percussion, and feature Valdes closely interacting with and pushing his sidemen. Highly recommended.


Born: October 9, 1941 in Quivican, Cuba

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Cuban pianist, bandleader, composer and arranger Chucho Valdes is a highly accomplished and influential figure in the world of Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz. Born in Quivican in 1941, Valdes is the son of the similarly influential Cuban bandleader Bebo Valdes from whom Chucho first received piano lessons. Having exhibited musical talent from a young age, Valdes eventually enrolled in the Municipal Music Conservatory of Havana, graduating at age 14. Inspired by such jazz pianists as Art Tatum and Thelonious...
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Solo Piano, Chucho Valdés
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