Saturday, August 6, 2011

Pedro Giraudo: Cordoba

Zoho Music
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Cordoba

Pedro Giraudo is an Argentinean bassist, composer and arranger; his birthplace is Cordoba. And his orchestra is the hottest, swingingest and most exciting Latin jazz outfit to come along in years.

Most of the commentary and reviews written about Giraudo use the adjective "big" to describe his ensemble, but that isn’t really the case. The famous big bands of the past included 16 or 17 musicians, and many were even larger. But as that era passed, and fans drifted into R&R, funk and other genres, the size decreased. The economics of maintaining a large group also contributed to that change.

But Latin jazz bands always have been more compressed, and 13 artists is “big” for that genre. Giraudo's ensemble contains four reeds, four brass and a five-man rhythm section. But size be damned; these guys roar.

Cordoba is the result of a composer’s commission awarded to Giraudo through New York’s Jazz Gallery. The composition is a suite consisting of eight movements, each of which is related to the locales, lifestyles, attitudes, experiences and people he has encountered during his lifetime.

The meters, chord structures and "excitement" levels of each movement vary, as a result of Giraudo's memory — and interpretation — of the factors that affected him. The ensemble work establishes the various "themes," and the solo work provides the "emphasis" factors. Both elements are masterfully accomplished.

This is the best, and most exciting, Latin jazz I’ve ever heard.

No comments: