Store

ALEX DIAZ "Beyond 145th St." - Merenguejazz CD

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/alexdiaz3

Merengue, the national music of the Dominican Republic ferociously driven by percussive provincial rhythms such as pambiche, perico ripiao, el maco, guinchao and palo, is the natural choice for conga master Alex Diaz to blend his native roots with jazz improvisation in Beyond 145th Street .

Diaz and featured saxophonist Ivan Renta continue their musical innovations and tribute to the late saxophonist Mario Rivera, who was associated with Tito Puente, which began with the release of Merengue Jazz King (Self Produced, 2010+). There is a time-honored lineage of merengue saxophonists hailing back to the legendary Tavito Vasquez, who influenced Rivera, popularized the instrument within this genre, and was fundamental in literally picking up the pace of the rhythms. Rivera disciple Renta, who composed "El Comandante" in honor of his mentor, is beneficiary of this hierarchy with his virtuoso contributions throughout this recording.

Pianist Pedro Bermudez ,who penned "El Tigerazo del Bebop" and the title track, displays not only a instinctive sense of the merengue patterns of guajeo, but is a bebop player of the highest caliber. He adds the bona fide element of jazz into the mix with dexterity and technique heightened by the rapid tempos which demand exact execution.

The contagious rhythms are merged with jazz dynamics providing an ideal concept of How Diaz wants merengue jazz to sound. The song choices—Jerome Kern's "Yesterdays," Vince Guaraldi's "Ginza Samba" Cal Tjader's obvious "Santo Domingo"—prove to be the perfect medium from which to expand this unique musical approach. Of course this would not be possible without the superb low-end anchoring of consummate bassist Ruben Rodriguez and hard-hitting trumpeter Nelson "Gazu" Jaime, who is a vital voice of the horn charts.

As global sounds and textures continue to be added to what is known as jazz or improvised music, it continues to transform into novel and vibrant mutant forms. Latin jazz, with its expansive arsenal of intricate cadences and melodies, has definitely been at the forefront of this trend, confirmed by the merengue jazz of Beyond 145th Street .

Track Listing: Yesterdays; Unit Seven; Santo Domingo; Catarey Meren Jam; All Or Nothing At All; El Tigerazo del Bebop; Ginza Samba; El Comandante; Beyond 145th Street.

Personnel: Alex Diaz: congas, timbales; Ray "Chinito" Diaz: tambora, guira; Ivan Renta: alto, tenor, and baritone saxophones; Nelson "Gazu" Jaime: trumpet; Pedro Bermudez: piano; Ruben Rodriguez: bass; Diego Lopez: drums.

Record Label: Self Produced | Style: Lati

Alex Diaz "Black Jazz" - CD

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/alexdiaz

If you are a music collector -- and with more that 2,000 LPs and approximately 4,000 CDs, I consider myself one -- you always pride yourself of having a few rare albums that are unknown to most music fans. Until a few weeks ago, I had one such piece in my collection. In 1990, my good friend, New York percussionist Alex Díaz, produced a recording that was a masterpiece and used Tito Puente's orchestra as a musical backdrop. While this production never reached the general public -- and I called it "No Name" -- it was always a conversation piece. Over the years, there were many who listened to a DAT copy in my house who wondered how such a solid production had never made it into an official album.


I asked Alex the same question many times. His answer was always the same: "Classics never die. It will come out when the time is right". Apparently the time is finally right. A.J. Díaz who since leads Son de la Calle has just released it and the few who had the opportunity to preview it over the years can now join me: "It was about time".


The participation of seasoned musicians like a very young Arturo Sandoval in perhaps his first recording in the United States, Mario Rivera, Hilton Ruiz, Chocolate Armenteros, Nicky Marrero, Papo Vázquez, Charlie Sepúlveda, Steve Berrios, Dave Hazeltine, Walter Booker, Bobby Carcassas, Sony Bravo, Phoenix Rivera, Johnny "Dandy" Rodríguez, Martín Arroyo, Joe Santiago, Brian Lynch, and, of course "the King" Tito Puente, make this production one of the best Latin Jazz recordings in recent memory.

The album starts with what in my opinion is the best rendition of the venerable Merengue "Caña Brava", in a style Alex properly calls Merengue Jazz. What follows is equally exciting - their version of the standard "La Cuna" and compositions like "Tequila y Avila A", "La Puerta del Conde", "Dear Old Stockholm", "Papa Bocó", "Chelsea Bridge", "Morning of Carnival", "Porqué tu sufres lo que yo gozo" and the upbeat "Paris Mambo".

As you play this CD, you cannot help but "see" the mastery of Puente and the versatility of his orchestra surrounding the percussive abilities of Díaz. "Now that I have my own band, it is the right time for this album to come out. It is a clear presentation of my vision as an artist and a bandleader. I learned a lot while I played with Tito. His perspective of music was always to keep it
fresh. Now the audience will have an idea of what Son de la Calle is all about. That is what I been telling you all these years. I wanted to wait for the right time. The time is definitely now!"


This is a recording that will remind you of Tito who, even though he passed away four years ago, can still be heard as much today as during his heyday. I remember clearly what the King used to say, "out of sight, out of mind". Well, this recording of A.J. Díaz clearly brings the arrangements of Puente quickly back to mind and his musical prowess continues to remain visible through his influence on so many of today's multi-talented musicians. This production by A.J. Díaz speaks loud and clear about that legacy. It's a worthy and hot addition to any good Jazz collection. It is time to put my old "No Name" DAT away and replace it with BlackJazz in my shelves. It is an album that has finally flowered under Diaz as producer

Alex Diaz "Merengue Jazz King" - CD

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/alexdiazsdlc

 

 

Alex Díaz, trae merengue de altura con Son de la Calle
Juan A. Moreno Velázquez


El percusionista dominicano Alexis Díaz, un conguero de excelencia que ha participado junto a muchas de las mejores orquestas en nuestra ciudad, entre estas la Orquesta del Maestro Tito Puente, es un hombre de paciencia.

En definitiva, ha sido mucha la paciencia de Alexis quién, finalmente, lanza un discompacto de altos quilates, el cuál combina a muchos de los mejores músicos locales y del exterior en un concepto de Merengue-Jazz que el ha bautizado como Alex Díaz y Son de la Calle.

El disco, que ha tomado un largo trecho en su confección, presenta prácticamente a muchos de los componentes de la Orquesta del Maestro Tito Puente, entre estos, Sonny Bravo, Bobby Rodríguez, Papo Vázquez. Charlie Sepúlveda, Louis Kahn, Steve Berrios, a los que se adicionan Mario Rivera, su hijo Phoenix, Pedro Bermúdez, Al Hernández, Ray Díaz, Tito Vázquez, y Julián Oro Duro como cantante, en la mejor versión del clásico Caña Brava que jamás haya escuchado. La grabación se distingue, adicionalmente, como la primera participación en Norteamérica del reputado trompetista cubano, Arturo Sandoval, que participa en el tema titulado Papa Bocó.

Este discompacto es un verdadero clásico que eleva el género de preferencia en la hermana República Dominicana sobre muchas de las grabaciones que se presentan en el día de hoy. La calidad musical, y los arreglos son de primer orden y con esta Alex Díaz conectó un cuadrangular musical, al cubrir todas las bases en una excelente producción, la cuál, definitivamente, se sale de la norma, sentando cátedra en el Merengue-Jazz.

El disco está dedicado a la memoria del gran jazzista dominicano, el fenecido Mario Rivera, querido y recordado por todos, pero muy en particular en el circuito musical neoyorquino. “Mario fue el inventor de este concepto del Merengue-jazz, nosotros hemos seguido su sendero y confeccionamos con mucho esfuerzo esta producción, que es la culminación de muchos años de experiencia conjunta entre todos los músicos que participaron en esta”, dijo Díaz.

Le preguntamos el porque la larga espera para el lanzamiento de esta magnífica producción y el percusionista me contestó, “he lanzado varios discos con anterioridad, este ha sido un proyecto de larga experimentación en el estudio. Los músicos han trabajado conmigo en la creación de este concepto con mucha paciencia y sacrificios y es ahora que siento es el momento para su lanzamiento”.


El discompacto incluye los temas, Caña Brava, Cherokee, Night in Tunisia, Mañana de Carnaval, El Banilejo Jazz, In Your own Sweet Way, Los Caminos, Take Five, Papa Bocó y El Boss.

Esta es una producción que no debe faltar dentro de su colección, y le garantizo que Alex Díaz y Son de la Calle, es, en definitiva, una de las mejores producciones de este año, y, muy probablemente, de la década.

El discompacto está disponible en el Palacio de la Música en la 116 y Lexington, Casa Amadeo, en el 786 de la Avenida Prospect, en el Bronx, y en las tiendas de Rincón Musical, a través de toda la ciudad de Nueva York.

Para presentaciones de Alex Díaz y Son de la Calle, comuníquese llamando al 917 364 7557 o por el correo electrónico, jazzconga1126@aol.com. Para presentaciones en la República Dominicana, comuníquese con Fernando Rodríguez de Mondeset, Representante llamando al 809-930 -1840 oficina o 829-586-9177, celular. También puede comunicarse al correo electrónico, Fernando@jazzendominicana.com.

Alex Diaz y Son de la Calle - CD

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/alexdiaz2

 

Alex Diaz & "The BeBop Boogaloo Kings" - CD

 

http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/alexdiaztbbk

This Music comes from a Latin Jazz background. It is great to listen to and dance to. Latin jazz also based on Dominican Republic music (merengue)