Tonight: Flamenco Pianist Chano Dominguez at Instituto Cervantes | Bleader

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tonight: Flamenco Pianist Chano Dominguez at Instituto Cervantes

Posted By on 02.22.11 at 01:18 PM

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Chano Dominguez
  • Chano Dominguez
Tonight superb Spanish jazz pianist Chano Dominguez makes his first local appearance since 2003, playing at Instituto Cervantes as part of Flamenco Festival 2011. Though he's a jazz artist, Dominguez is completely at home with flamenco, the traditional music of his homeland—by embracing it, he transformed himself from an unremarkable fusionista into an exciting innovator. A number of strong pianists, specifically Diego Amador, seem to have followed in his footsteps.

The piano isn't associated with flamenco, but Dominguez's playing is a remarkable nonliteral translation of a guitar-based music, integrating the style's ferocious rhythms, fiery flourishes, and emotional lyricism. On his latest album, Piano Iberico (unfortunately released only on the Spanish division of Blue Note Records), he interprets works by four of Spain's most important pianists and composers—Isaac Albéniz, Manuel de Falla, Enrique Granados, and Frederic Mompou—without surrendering his own personality. There are flashes of typical flamenco percussion—cajon, hand claps, foot stomps—and some great guest singing by Blas "El Kejío" Córdoba, who was part of Dominguez's band when he played at the Chicago Jazz Festival in 2003. Piano Iberico is the best album of his I've heard; he's finally freed himself from the vestiges of his fusion past and his tendency toward florid overstatement. Tonight he plays solo.

Today's playlist:

Angel, Angel (Bip-Hop)
Idiot Kid, Darkness in Our House (Slottet)
Mathias Landaeus, Palle Danielsson, and Jon Fält, Opening (MA Recordings)
Massive Attack, Heligoland (Virgin)
Huong Thanh, Cai Luong Theatre Music (Ocora)

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