CD Traditions - Angel David Mattos This is the new release of Puerto Rican pianist Angel David Mattos. It was recorded in August 2007 with Paquito D´Rivera (clarinet), Bob Mintzer (sax and bass clarinet), Oscar Stagnaro (bass), Hector Mattos (drums), Aldemar Valentín (bass) and Ricardo Pons (flute). After the award winning CD Danzzaj (2004), Angel David returns bringing a concept where Puerto Rican Folkloric music and Jazz meet as equals, each contributing to create a musical concept in terms of melody, structure, harmony, rhythm and improvisation. Here are comment son each composition for those who would like to know more about Mattos´ way of conceiving his music. Traditions Track 1 (Prelude to Traditions (Aguinaldo Jíbaro), presents the original melodic source of this composition. Piano starts out present this melody with jazz embellishment. Then, bass and sax play a counter melody in unison, also based on an alternate melody of the same Aguinaldo. The second part uses the melody of the Seis de Andino followed to a rhythmic section where Hector fills in with enthusiasm. This section ends with a jazz-fusion sound and then returns to the A section. Solos are played over a structure based on a harmonic fifth circle pattern over a Campesino Rhythm, alternating with a Straight Ahead middle section. Bob Mintzer improvisation shows the mastermind of a musician who has contributed to many jazz styles, in this case, the Jazz Boricua style. Angel David's solo presents a blending of jazz and Puerto Rican melodies, increasing his new jazz language. After the solos, the composition returns to section B and then Hector takes section C for an impressive solo. Traditions ends with the first melody and a creative Coda en Jazz Fusion style. Bebop Danza Following the work done in the previous CD Danzzaj, Angel David presents this composition in the Danza Festiva style. The Puerto Rican Danza is a musical style of 19th century, and it is contemporary with the conception of jazz in New Orleans. Being both Caribbean regions, they present many similarities. The unique sound of Paquito D´Rivera and Oscar Stagnaro give the perspective of other Latin American musicians of this style that also resembles the sound of other Lain American musical styles. So this element, combined with Angel David and Hector precise concept of the Danza, create a unique sound of the new Danzzaj concept of Bebop style. Although the melody sounds like a Bebop one, it is really based on popular Danza melodies of early 20th century. With some rhythmic displacement and alterations it fits the bebop style and the Blues sound presents after the clarinet solo. Angel David plays a pure Danza phrase followed by a Ragtime style phrase. Both styles are contemporary of the end of the 19th century. The melody is then played over a Blues section and a theme based on the first section melody. After a solo section by Oscar, Hector and a conversation of the whole band, the composition presents a sequenced transitional section, which leads to the first section. Bebop ends with a "Big Band" style Coda. Corazón Boricua First of all, this composition is dedicated to the memory of Tony Croatto, a foreigner musician who came to Puerto Rico from Italy and felt in love with the island. As years passed he got involved with Puerto Rican folkloric music and gave it his own perspective, always respecting tradition but also incorporating new sounds. Angel David and Tony worked together for 3 years in the Nueva Trova group Haciendo Punto en Otro Son, where Tony felt in love with Angel David's musical expression. Sadly, Tony died of cancer in April 3, 2005, after a concert dedicated to him by his fellow band members under the direction of Angel David. Because of his decision of becoming Puerto Rican out of love for the island, this composition is dedicated to his Puerto Rican heart, his Corazón Boricua. Track 3 presents the original melodic source of Corazón Boricua, the Aguinaldo Cagüeño. The composition starts with an introductory piano solo over a vamp, a common jazz introduction. The clarinet presents the melody, which clearly resembles it's original source. The composition always makes reference of this melody over it's AABA structure, including the bass line in at the end of section B. Solos are not played over this whole structure for is appeared too long. So piano and clarinet solos follow an AAB form. After the solos clarinet picks the theme once again and the song ends with a musical conversation between Paquito and Angel David where folkloric melodies are heard, especially in Angel David's comments. Atardecer (Sunset) This is a composition in 6/8. It was inspired by a Puerto Rican sunset view from the central mountains. Bass and drums play a hybrid between Seis Joropo and jazz waltz. Angel David's solo presents many melodic ideas of known melodies, from the Seis con Décima to Puerto Rican pianist Noro Morales Maria Cervantes. The end of the composition wants to recreate the last seconds of the Sun over the Caribbean Sea, until it disappears (a unison at the end). Blues for Maiso Angel David's musical background is diverse and it comes mostly from his family. One trend found in his mother's family side is Salsa music. Most of his uncles were into Salsa during the 1970. One of them, Luisito Maisonet (Maiso), was lead trumpet in one of the most famous Salsa bands of that time: La Selecta. Unfortunately, Luisito died in 1972in a terrible car accident while touring with the band through U.S. North East. Had this not happened. Angel David and him would be playing together now. This composition is dedicated to all Angel David's family, but especially to Luisito. In terms of compositional technique, this is a Blues with a different harmonic structure in the last four bars. There is a bridge where bass and sax play together phrases taken from the Seis Fajardeño and the Aguinaldo Cagüeño. Jazz influences of this composition come from John Coltrane, Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, Chick Corea and the Yellow Jackets. Of course, Bob Mintzer gives the proper sound to all this influences, specially the Jackets sound. Enramada Ave. Just like Traditions and Corazón Boricua, this is composition is mainly based on a folkloric melody; the Seis de la Enramada played in the previos track as an example. This is a simple AABA form with a little Coda which is played before each solo. This was influenced by Bebop compositions such as Bud Powel´s Bouncing with Bud. This is a historic track where for the fist time Paquito D´Rivera and Bob Mintzer recorded together, both playing clarinet (soprano and bass clarinet respectively). After the solos the original melodic theme is played by the band, and it replaces the melody of section A. It goues to the bridge and ends with section A and Coda, again in "Big Band" style. Deseo This is a romantic Danza in a Danzzaj style. It has the five parts structure of the Danza, with the unusual use of the first section (El Paseo) at the end. The use of the clarinet and the keyboard strings give this composition an orchestral sound. Solos on this composition are played over Sections A and B of the Danza (Paseo counts as the introduction and not section A). After the solos the change of mode from minor to mayor constitutes the section C. One particular feature is presented here; a change from Danza style to straight ahead style, buy preserving a Danza like melody intact. Caravan This all-timer provides a great closure to this production. Caravan has been identified as the first Latin Jazz composition, written by Puerto Rican trombonist Juan Tizol. This time, it is performed in the style of plena, with the only difference of not using the Plena panderos (handdrums) . Each instrument is taking care of the rhythm regulary played by these three panderos. The bass line takes the middle pandero, while the piano plays the part of the large pandero with the left hand, and the small pandero with the right hand. The drums then play a combination of the three panderos and the güiro. Section A is played in plena style, while section B is played in Danza style. Solos are played over a continuous Plena-Jazz style, and so is the drums solo. There are several site in the web that could provide further information on Puerto Rican folkloric music. Terms such as Plena, Aguinaldo, Seis, Panderos, and others should be looked up in order to fully understand this CD. Just write Music of Puerto Rico on any search engine and the information with examples will be available. This is another historic production by Angel David Mattos. Hope you enjoy it and write him about it.