Album review: Chano Dominguez's 'Flamenco Sketches'
More than 20 years after Miles Davis' death, it's almost bigger news when a month passes and a reissue or tribute to Davis' music isn't released. Still, this seven-track live set from 2009 led by Spanish pianist Chano Domínguez reveals there's yet more undiscovered territory in these well-worn songs, proving that it's not necessarily the tributes to the iconic trumpeter that are the problem, it's the skill and imagination going into them.
Opening with an expansive, 16-minute take on "Flamenco Sketches" from Davis' landmark "Kind of Blue" recording, Domínguez begins the album with a lush solo that accelerates into a simmering flamenco groove that develops into a hip-swiveling maze of handclaps and sparkling piano flourishes.
Songs from "Kind of Blue" do much of the heavy lifting here with a take on "Freddie Freeloader" reframing the song's breezy refrain with a percolating rhythm from bassist Mario Rossy and percussionist Israel "Paraná" Suárez, and the typically slow-burning "All Blues" gains a hotter pulse and a rhythmic hitch that twists the song into a head-bobbing dance number.
Rossy also leads a rubbery, quickened take on the familiar intro of "So What," which Domínguez quickens into a raucous stomp atop a maze of pattering percussion. It's still Miles, but it's miles away from what's already been done.
Domínguez performs live as part of the Jazz Bakery's Moveable Feast series on Saturday, March 31 at 8 p.m. Zipper Hall at the Colburn School 200 S. Grand Ave., L.A. $30 www.jazzbakery.com.
-- Chris Barton