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ERDÖS QUARTET – Otrojazz (Paris Bronx Connection) 

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Otrojazz points the way to an essential musical bridge between Paris and New York, one of the most solid and enlightened, with the disruptive pianistic proposal of conductor, vibraphonist and percussionist Laurent Erdös

Erdös, whose masterclasses received many musicians of the new Latin music scene “Made in France”, reveals here his pleasant reunion, in the Bronx, with the swing of three heirs of New York Latin jazz, George DelgadoJerry Madera and Oreste Abrantes, members of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra and The Mambo Legends. 

Together, they mark the memory of a period when, in the “Barrio” as in Paris, the “French Guy” frequented some actors of Mambo, Boogaloo and New York Salsa such as Joe Cuba, José Mangual Jr, José Madera and Johnny “Dandi” Rodriguez, just as he rubbed shoulders, in his band Mambomania or elsewhere, with outstanding artists based in France such as Yuri Buenaventura and Orlando Poleo.

This work connects “Jazz” and “Latin”, Paris and the Bronx, with an intergenerational link, as Tino and Jan Erdös (Boston’s Berklee and CNSM de Paris) boldly breathe their youth during the quartet’s augmented moments.

Laurent Erdös: piano, coros, producer
George Delgado: timbales, guiro, campana, shekere, co-producer
Oreste Abrantes: congas, quinto, clave, coros
Jerry Madera: babybass

Jan Erdös: french horn, coros

Tino Erdös: trombone
Adan Perez: engineer, coros, mixing and mastering, Allertone Studios, Bronx NY
Horns recording: Célestine Paone and Hugo Divetain
Virgile Raffaëlli: Artwork

Have you met Miss Jones (Richard Rodgers 1937, arr : Laurent Erdös) is a reference
to George Shearing. An English pianist, he was one of the pioneers of Latin jazz and
developed a style based on block chords. He played the themes by harmonizing all the
notes of the melody in 4 tight voices, using diminished chords for the passing notes.
He added a vibraphone to play the melody and a guitar to double the melody an octave
below. The double bass had to play precise notes that followed this re-harmonization
of the grid. I adapted this principle to my quartet, assigning the role of the guitar to the
double bass, and making the percussionists the real protagonists of the piece. In fact,
they have the most to play with in this theme; it’s rare for them to have so much to read
in a single piece… I was also surprised to see that I didn’t have to change a single
rhythmic placement of this melody, as it fits perfectly into the “clave”.

Mambo Invertido (Laurent Erdös) is a concept of my own invention. It’s a new clave
built around 4 bars. “Hears who hears”. It took a little time for the musicians to adopt
this new concept, but fortunately for me, they got into the swing of things. This clave is
adapted to the classic Am7/D7 mambo cadence, and the piece is a descarga in the
style of Cachao and Joe Cuba.

I Can’t Get Started (Vernon Duke 1936, arr : Laurent Erdös) is a ballad, an old jazz
classic, played here in a mambo tempo. The solos are played to a charanga rhythm,
with the piano phrases inspired by typical charanga flute and violin phrases.

Cherokee (Ray Noble 1938) is “the” piece where I didn’t bring anything original to the
table (although, as far as I know, it’s never been the subject of a Latin adaptation).
I chose it to highlight Jan and Tino’s soloing skills. Cherokee is a classic jazz tune from
the ’30s, usually played very fast, allowing the musicians to show off their virtuosity.
Here, we use a hybrid rhythm, a mix of comparsa and mozambique.

Like Someone in Love (Jimmy Van Heusen, arr: Laurent Erdös). Again, to my
knowledge, there has never been a Latin adaptation of this standard. Here, the piece
begins with a guaguanco rhythm and concludes with a mozambique.

Guiro’s Montuno (Laurent Erdös) began with the idea of playing the rhythm of the
guiro on the piano: one scratch and two taps. Scratching reminds me of my
grandmother, who used to scratch my back singing “do re mi fa sol la si do, scratch the
chip on my back”. Singing a bit of an ascending scale over the names of descending
notes, as we do in this recording, should make any music-education teacher jump, but
it’s also a reference to a Cuban rumba classic (who doesn’t know?). The harmonic
sequence is taken from the opening bars of Dizzy Gillespie’s Groovin’ High, which adds
another color, different from classic chachas.

The Lady is a Tramp (Richard Rodgers 1937, arr: Georges Shearing and Laurent
Erdös) comes from a swing arrangement by George Shearing with Cal Tjader. Salsa
musicians have lost the habit of playing such fast mambos, even though they were
common in the ’40s and into the ’60s. Here, the traditional bass tumbao has been
replaced by a jazz bass walking.

Groovin’ High (Dizzy Gillespie, arr : Laurent Erdös) has been rhythmically adapted to
the clave. The placement of the left hand is borrowed from the famous “Redencion”
piece in Cachao’s descargas.

Corno Criollo (Laurent Erdös) is a descarga dedicated to the French horn, an
instrument rarely used in salsa, and especially never as a solo instrument. They can
be heard on Eddie Palmieri and Gilberto Santa Rosa. The originality of this descarga
lies in its harmony, inspired by Miles Davis’ Milestones. In this case, we might call it
“modal salsa”. The title refers to a descarga by Cachao, but the atmosphere is more
that of good old NY in the 70s

Follow on @grg.delgado @abrantes_oreste @jerry0610 @ management contact @osmanjr @latin.big.note


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☑️Curated by Osman Jr for Wagram

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