Latin jazz enthusiasts, welcome! Aguankó is the band of the percussionist and conductor, Alberto Nacif, and to tell you everything, he initially honed his percussion skills with the conga/bongo master, Armando Peraza (known for his collaboration with Santana).
Here, this group offers us the best of modernized Cuban jazz where rhythms and brass are perfected, making it one of the standout albums of the season in this unique style. If we delve into the musical arrangements of this album, we particularly love both its modernity and its ability to dive into a much older musical culture, making it an album that can be listened to attentively or can make you want to dance until the end of the night.
It’s also interesting to focus on the role of the piano, which at times slips in like a poetic storyteller, here and there, not necessarily in the most expected moments. Alberto Nacif excels at blending genres and styles, with the unflappable precision of percussion providing stability to a structure that often treads on the most concrete jazz form, all blending wonderfully with Cuban inspirations.
There’s a truly incredible craftsmanship here, in which you can easily find a tune that takes a local folk theme and remixes it Nacif-style. It’s intriguing, elegant, and beautiful. The sound of the instruments dances from track to track, and one delights in every moment, best enjoyed with a good Cuban rum in hand if you’re not inclined to dance while listening to this album. For now, only Latin websites are talking about this album, and it would be such a shame to leave it in the shadows.
That’s why I’ve decided to talk to you about it today. True, music inspired by Latin culture has never intimidated Bayou Blue Radio, as we’re attuned to the world’s heartbeat… If you’re in search of good Cuban music, there’s no need to look further.
In fact, the editors of Bayou Blue Radio and Paris-Move have placed this album directly in the “Essential” stack, among other things due to the excellence of the flutist/ saxophonist, Russ Miller…
PARIS-MOVE, August 24th 2023