Jerry Gonzalez Y El Comando De La Clave

Sept. 1 - 2012

Most attempts to combine jazz and Latin music result in a stylistic wash: not enough jazz and not enough Latin. Jerry Gonzalez, the Bronx-raised trumpeter and conga player known for his groundbreaking Fort Apache Band, handily avoids that trap with his superb new quartet, El Commando De La Clave. The band takes its time making stylistic connections, playing elegant jazz, straight-up, then turning up the clave beat, and then sneaking back into jazz. They achieve that heady balance whether playing a John Coltrane classic, a Cole Porter standard or an Afro-Cuban original.

A powerfully contained voice on trumpet, Gonzalez has lived in Madrid for nearly a dozen years, sopping up Spanish styles that come through in the music. But his talented young bandmates are Cubans: pianist Javier Masso “Caramelo,” bassist Alain Perez and drummer Kiki Ferrer. Gonzalez didn’t perform in Chicago very often before he moved to Spain, so having him here now is all the more special.

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