‘’ORIGINS” is a fusion album from the roots and elements of Flamenco (bulerías, soleáres), Afro-Cuban (guaguancó and rumba) and the American Jazz form. The work is also an exploration of the musical origins of an international pianist who has traveled the world and explored the roots of Afro-Cuban music and Jazz from a Flamenco perspective.
African music and its tradition on percussion are the key to most of the world’s folkloric rhythms and syncopated accents. During colonial times, Africans were exported as slaves to many geographies, and in the process, their cultural and religious beliefs as well as their rhythmic patterns landed in the Caribbean, North America and Spain. Consequently, it’s not a coincidence that the magical resemblance of the ‘’3+2’’ rhythmical patterns from Africa are implicit in the most traditional expressions of Flamenco, Rumba and Jazz.
The mystery of the clave can be found in Spanish flamenco palos like seguiriya, bulería or soleá. These rhythms are unique and specific expressions from a region where a unique melting pot of sounds and cultures (Jewish, Moorish, and Gypsy) co-existed for centuries. The rhythmical elements of North Africa collided with melodies of the Orient and European harmonies, creating unique combinations of ‘’3 plus 2’’ on rhythmic cells; clapping and footwork spread on twelve-beats patterns.
For this adventure, Alex Conde had the fortune to team up with world-class artists from New York City, the Latin-jazz and Jazz “mecca” of the world - Conrad Herwig, Marcus Gilmore, Dayna Stephens, Brian Lynch, Luques Curtis, John Benítez, Camilo Molina and Guillermo Barrón. Alex also counted with the contribution of special guests like the renowned Spaniard copla singer Alejandro Conde - his father, who lends his voice for a dramatic rendition of the Spanish classic “El Emigrante,” Ismael Fernandez, who leads the charge in “Soleá de Ismael”, and the up-and-coming jazz guitarist from New York City, Andres Abenante.
Alex Conde – Piano, Keyboards / Dayna Stevens – Tenor Sax, Soprano Sax / Guillermo Barrón – Cajón / Luques Curtis – Bass / Marcus Gilmore – Drums / Conrad Herwig – Trombone / Bryan Lynch – Trumpet / Alejandro Conde Sr. – Vocal (track 7) / Ismael Fernández – Vocal (tracks 4 & 8) / Camilo Molina – Timbal (track 5) / Frank Abenante – Palma / Isabel Abenante – Palma / Andrés Abenante – Guitar (tracks 1, 4, 5 & 9) / John Benítez – Electric bass (tracks 1,2 & 9)
All music and arrangements by Alex Conde except: La Leyenda del Tiempo by Ricardo Pachón with Lyrics by Federico García Lorca / El Emigrante by Juanito Valderrama / Lyrics in Soleá de Ismael by Ismael Fernandez