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Monday, December 13, 2010

Guillermo Klein: Domador de Huellas, Music of “Cuchi” Leguizamon PopMatters

One of the top jazz recordings of the year is by the distinctive pianist and composer Guillermo Klein, Domador de Huellas, Music of “Cuchi” Leguizamon.  Check out my PopMatter review here.

Klein interprets the tunes of a fellow Argentine, but his own presence is critical, blending warm vocal performances with arrangements that use electric and acoustic pianos, horns, and percussion in a manner that is swinging, impressionistic, pungent, and hypnotic. 
The writing covers a huge emotional territory from melancholy to triumphant, yet the overall feeling never veers too far from the warmly dancing.  Traces of Aaron Copland mingle with the pulse of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers.

There are so many truly outstanding jazz pianists on the scene these days, and Klein deserves a spot among them.  He dazzles, however, not in his chops or flights of improvisation but in how he works with a band.

He is, I suppose, the one of the most Ellingtonian of the crop of current fine pianists in the music.  That, of course is high praise.

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