Havana Fairfax Connection 0074

A tribute to pianist Emiliano Salvador.
From Host Toni Basanta:
By the time I was 14 years old, EL GESI - the Cuban Institute for Music Making, Arts and Industry Group, had become one of my biggest musical influences. By 16, I owned some of their albums and had listened to most of their live performances at La Cinemateca de Cuba, and other venues.
The pianist on all these albums was Emiliano Salvador, who left this world in 1992, leaving his magic within his writing. Alexis Bosch is among the closer disciples of Emiliano, that I can think of, his playing is unbridled and fiery, not unlike Salvador's own playing. The music of this episode was filmed at the Fine Arts Museum in Havana, Cuba, in 2008 in A Grand Encounter led by Bosch. Twelve years after, EL GESI (Grupo de Experimentación Sonora del ICAIC) received all the honors at the Jazz Plaza International Festival, and I thought it was the best time to bring it to light.
Who is Alexis Bosch ?
Pianist Alexis Bosch is a multi talented wonder, a musician-composer-arranger, steeped in Jazz and its unique and eclectic vocabulary, but whose range of musical touchstones also extend to all the genres of his native Island, plus Rock, Blues, Funk, R & B, Nueva Trova, dancing, Flamenco, Hip-Hop and Children Songs creations. You can hear traces of his extra-jazz instincts in the course of a gig or a solo, in the way he sculps or phrases an improvisation, or in the way he turns the emotive dial from tough to tender.
Like Emiliano, one of his idols, Alexis Bosch studied percussion, and belongs to a Generation of Percussionists who have turned into world-known pianists; Omar Sosa, Javier Masó "Caramelo", Emilio Vega, Miguel Angel de Armas Sr, and Gonzalito Rubalcaba, whose resumes spill over with connections and affiliations. Since 1989, he eventually began to develop the ideas and identity of his band Pasaje Abierto (Open Passage).
Open Passage, on this episode, features longtime collaborators José Ernesto Ermida (electric bass), Emilito del Monte Jr., (percussion), Orlando Sánchez (tenor sax) and Ramsés Rodríguez (drums). As you can all figure out, the subject on this episode is the Cuban piano tradition. It's all about the fluency of music between 10 well-travelled and sympathetic players.
God Bless this Village
A native of the Village of Guanabacoa, Bosch grew up listening to Ernesto Lecuona, Teddy Wilson, Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Oscar Peterson, Joe Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, ... plus countless soft-spoken masters, and established himself as a sturdy and forward thinking player on the scene after graduating from the Amadeo Roldán Conservatory of Music in 1985.
Emiliano's Second Quintet: Four sidemen were invited, Robertico García (trumpet and flugel-horn), José Carlos Acosta (tenor sax), Emilito del Monte Sr., (timbales) and Rodolfo Valdés Terry (congas), four remarkable stalwarts who resonated to the treasury of tunes that Emiliano Salvador composed.
The audience at the Fine Arts Museum in Havana, as well as the LCATV viewers, expect dialogue between the players, inventive original material written by Bosch, Salvador and saxophonist José Carlos Acosta, while each player will turn solos into explosive dynamite.
Chinchorrero, Pilón and Aquellas Gaviotas (Those Seagulls), are fiery showcases for what happened in this live show, where the free-ranging of the outgoing vamp enhanced the dignity of the original material. Angélica, Emiliano Salvador's classic relaxed cha cha cha-bossa nova, is reborn here, and dedicated to the composer's daughter, who was at the audience. In short, Alexis Bosch's Open Passage plus Four former members of Emiliano's band, are a Tentet with a mission, to speak the language of Cuban Jazz with honesty and energy.
This millenium marks the 5th decade in which the infectious, carefully crafted music of the Puerto Padre Idol, looms large into the Jazz world's consciousness. Of course, at the heart of it, is Bosch's own generous voice, fulfilling a dream which encompasses a hunger for forward motion and emotions.
Emiliano's tunes, and his piano solos, which have scrawled his funky signature across the Jazz landscape, are responsible for this encounter. Check Alexis Bosch, Robertico García, José Ernesto Ermida and Orlando Sánchez also on episode 44 with another GESI founder, guitarist Pablo Menéndez with his Mezcla Group and the Cuban Jazz All Stars.
We always have a Good Song to end our show, and this time I selected another gem of Emiliano's crop; En Una Volanta Actual - a Cuban jazz country-dance, arranged by reedman Juan Manuel Ceruto with La Puerto Padre Big Band and Strings.
This sterling composition serves as a background to present a whole bunch of his followers. Please have mercy and dig them all!
Peace Is All We Need

Production Date: 
Monday, July 13, 2020
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