MUSICAL PICKS OF THE MONTH
By JAVIER L. ORELLANA and SANDRA GUZMAN
Paquito D’Rivera & Chano Domínguez
It’s rare to have two musical masters collaborate for a full concert. Rarer still is that performance captured by cameras. Lucky for music fans, last April at the Teatro Real de Madrid, two of Latin jazz’s most talented fusionists, veteran Cuban saxophonist/clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera and “New Flamenco Sound” creator, Spanish pianist Chano Domínguez, united for the first time. The concert, now available on DVD, turns out to be one of the most enjoyable live jazz recordings ever.
With the set of Puccini’s “La Bohéme” as the backdrop, the D’Rivera’s and Domínguez’s exciting blend of jazz, Latin, flamenco, African and Caribbean sound made it feel as if it were an outdoor performance.
The musical interaction between the two is breathtaking. Domínguez picks up D’Rivera’s finishing notes, creating masterful solos by caressing and punishing the ivory. Meanwhile, D’Rivera joyfully dances with his saxophone and clarinet belting out long, beautiful solos.
With every note they play and from their natural and playful interaction, it’s obvious that D’Rivera and Domínguez have a profound respect for each other.
“Selena: 10th anniversary special edition”
Warner Home Video
To watch Jennifer Lopez play fallen Tejano star Selena all over again is a reminder of how much the life and story of the slain singer would inspire the Bronx bombshell. This is Lopez before Puffy, Chris Judd and Bennifer. The film is proof that Lopez can act. And now with this new offering – a re-mastered 10th Anniversary Special Edition DVD with never before released footage – Selena and J.Lo fans will be in heaven.
For the price of one, you’ll get two gems. Besides the original film, directed by Oscar nominated filmmaker Gregory Nava, the disc includes a new and re-mastered cut by Nava which is 45-minutes longer.
In one new scene it’s revealed that the Quintanilla family was briefly on welfare. Nava also included more footage of a young Selena – before the Grammy’s and before the success.
The bonus, a featurette of the making of the movie with interviews with the entire cast and the Quintanilla Perez family, is alone worth the price of admission. It’s in English with Spanish subtitles.
“The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbia from Peru”
Pour the pisca sours and pop in “The Roots of Chicha: Psychedelic Cumbia from Peru.” This vibrant and trippy collection of Andean cumbias or chichas – 17 in all – seems like a romp in a dusty outpost of any Peruvian town. The genre was inspired by the traditional music of Colombia but when they hit Peru, these cumbias transformed into something unique.
The sounds are layered with Andean folktales, melodies and instruments – pentatonic scales, synthesizers, organs, “wah wah” pedals and surf guitars – and the result is like a scorching chupe de camarones. The sound is at once gritty and sophisticated.
Chicha is named after a corn-based liquor believed to be the drink of choice of the Incas. But when it spread to Lima, it took hold of urban dwellers and continued its transformation with bits of rock and Cuban guajiras.
Olivier Conan, a French musician and co-owner of Barbès (a Park Slope bar that plays about any kind of music in world), was so bewitched by these sounds on a visit to Peru, he tracked down the masters and brought this collection up north.