Chano Dominguez, piano – Flamenco Sketches [TrackList Follows] – Blue Note/EMI 509990 87517 2 0 [3/13/12] ****:
This is an entirely new interpretation of Miles Davis’ and Gil Evans’ music in Sketches of Spain and All Blues. It was created for the Barcelona Jazz Festival by Dominguez, who started out on guitar and is trained in flamenco, and has thrown out the horns and saxes completely—replacing them with a flamenco cantaor, zapateado dancer, hand claps, bass and percussion, plus his jazz piano.
All five of the original Davis tracks are included, plus “Nardis” and “Serpent’s Tooth.” This is Dominguez unique type of jazz that celebrates Miles’ work on its very own terms. If you don’t like Latin jazz or especially the rough, gutteral vocalisms of flamenco cantaors, you won’t like this. The combination of flamenco and jazz reminded me of the recent album by Anoushka Shankar, which combined flamenco and East Indian music. Chano has worked with Paco de Lucia, Potito and others, and also has played rock. He says that in jazz you improvise with a structure in the background but in flamenco the improvisation is part of the form. The guitarist and the cantaor don’t know what the other is going to play with them. The hand-clapping and dancing seem to add a great deal of excitement to the proceedings.
I think Chano Dominguez’ spin on the over 50-year-old Miles Spanish bit is a fresh and enjoyable fusion of the two styles of music, but I’ll leave it up to you. The audience at this live recording made at the Barcelona Jazz Fesitval is certainly with it.
Flamenco Sketches, Freddie Freeloader, Blue in Green, So What, All Blues, Nardis, Serpent’s Tooth
Craft Recordings/Varèse Sarabande release a stunning updated vinyl of Starship Troopers.