Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Alex De Grassi, Quique Cruz|
Genres: Dance & Electronic, World Music, Jazz, New Age, Pop
Most record stores don't have a section labeled "Andean Jazz," but if TataMonk, a wonderful North-meets-South collaboration between guitarist Alex De Grassi and Chilean-born flutist Quinque Cruz, catches on, they may need ... more »
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Most record stores don't have a section labeled "Andean Jazz," but if TataMonk, a wonderful North-meets-South collaboration between guitarist Alex De Grassi and Chilean-born flutist Quinque Cruz, catches on, they may need to make another genre heading. TataMonk sets de Grassi's jazz-inflected acoustic guitar pickings and Cruz's Andean flutes and charangos (Andean stringed instruments) against the delicate jazz trio backdrop of pianist Michael Bluestein, bassist Jon Evans, and drummer Dan Foltz. It's a delicious cross-cultural pollination that successfully mixes traditional Andean melodies and instruments with jazz rhythms and harmonies. Fans of de Grassi's popular Windham Hill solo guitar recordings won't be disappointed, as his distinctive fingerstyle guitar work is happily in the forefront through most of the recording. But TataMonk stands out because of the ingenious and unusual context in which de Grassi places himself. As he explains in the liner notes, the wind instruments played by Cruz are traditionally only heard by themselves, and the juxtaposition of the traditional Andean folk melodies with de Grassi's plucked guitars and the jazz trio backing makes for a beautifully unique sound. On pieces like "Alba," a traditional Ecuadorian melody (here enhanced with odd-metered improvisations), and "Akamani," in which pipe flute melodies meet free-floating jazz swing rhythms, it's clear that de Grassi and Cruz have found a compelling musical blend. --Ezra Gale
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The Coriolis Force in Full Effect
Bob Biz | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've been a long time fan of Alex de Grassi's guitar work and was quite intrigued to check out this new collaboration with Chilean instrumentalist Quique Cruz. Tatamonk, of course, finds de Grassi in top form but, much to my surprise, is also filled with a whole array of exotic Andean instruments such as charangos, kenas, kenachos, antara, toyos, ronroco, rondador and sikus. Piano, bass, drums and brass compliment all of these instruments and the results are scintillating! This CD has a whole array of soundscapes from "Auscencia" which incorporates a breathtaking melody to "Alba" which has a smoky bluesy feel to it to "Sanchaly" which is a tour de force that unites traditional South American rhythms with contemporary jazz improvisation. All in all, Tatamonk is a tasty fusion of North meets South."
The Andes got the blues
Georgina Brown | British West Indies | 10/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The first thing I thought when I first listened to this CD was that I couldn't decide whether it was transporting me to a cool smoked filled jazz club somewhere in New York or to the fresh pungent mists of the Andes and then I realized that it was actually taking me both places at once! What a trip!
I think that in this CD one could find so many different moods and so many different atmospheres, the joy of the fiesta as well as the quiet melancholy of the days gone by, the rush of a flight over the highest peaks as well as the peace of just being still and allowing oneself to be embraced by music...and what music! The old and the new, tradition and innovation greet each other in the perfect blend, in which the whisper of a flute marries the tingle of a jazz piano and everything just sounds totally new and totally unique!
I feel privileged to have been allowed to enter the mystical world of Mr. De Grassi and Mr. Cruz!"
Georgina Brown | 02/02/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Traditional andean music and jazz may sound like a clumsy blend, but the mix really suceeds on Tata Monk, lending a fresh perspective to both genres. When you listen to Tata Monk, you can simulataneously envision yourself in a smoke-filled basement bar with a lone piano player or gasping for breath atop an Andean peak, but the music doesn't suffer from a split personality and does both genres justice. The whole effort sounds fresh and complete, carving out a sound quite different from the genres I have to resort to describe it. It sounds truly new and different- Tata Monk always draws a lot of people into my dorm room whenever I play it. Pop this in at your next quiet party and you'll feel much cooler than your friends with their Buena Vista Social Club spinoffs and 40 year old jazz reissues. Its a very beautiful work."