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Spanish Accents

Artist: Alec Dankworth

Date of Release: 07/07/2008

Catalogue no: SRCD 21-2

Label: Basho

Price: £5

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

 

Palmas (Alec Dankworth)

6.12

2

 

Los Cuatros Muleros (trad, arr. Alec Dankworth)

3.10

3

 

La Calma (Alec Dankworth)

0.42

4

listen

El Levante (Alec Dankworth)

6.49

5

 

Armando’s Rhumba (Chick Corea)

5.36

6

 

Concierto de Aranjuez (Rodrigo arr. Alec Dankworth)

7.03

7

 

Cantos (trad. Arr. Alec Dankworth)

4.03

8

 

Yo me Enamore un Aire (trad. Arr. Alec Dankworth)

4.12

9

 

Con Alma (Dizzy Gillespie)

6.56

10

 

Tears of Rain (Pat Metheny)

5.59

11

 

Salsa for Eddie G (Jack de Johnette)

7.28

12

 

Dreams of Castilla (Alan Clare/Cleo Laine)

6.35

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Chris Garrick, Cleo Laine, Julian Arguelles, Phil Robson

Alec Dankworth (bass) Julian Arguelles (saxes), Christian Garrick (violin),Phil Robson (guitar), Jean-Pierre Rasle (bagpipes),Marc Miralta (drums and percussion),with Emily Dankworth (vocals), Cleo Laine (vocals).

Alec Dankworth’s long-standing love of all things Spanish provided the inspiration for this album. Metheny, Corea, even Rodrigo are reinvented alongside traditional folk songs and originals in flamenco rhythms creating a wonderful and genuinely Spanish world. A heady mix of top British players - guitarist Phil Robson, saxophonist Julian Arguelles, Chris Garrick’s gorgeous violin, and Alec Dankworth’s bass interweaving with the genuinely Spanish drumwork of Barcelona-based Marc Miralta make this an unusual line-up. Added to this is some intriguing drone-work from French bagpipe expert Jean-Pierre Rasle. Three tracks include singing from the youngest member of the Dankworth dynasty, Emma, as well as the great Cleo Laine.

 

Reviews

 

25/07/2008 John Fordham, The Guardian 4stars****

It doesn't matter how familiar the tunes are - and on this Spanish-themed set, they're very familiar, from Armando's Rhumba to Con Alma - any album with saxophonist Julian Arguelles on it is bound to avoid cliche. Alec Dankworth is a rock-solid, imaginative jazz bassist, but this is more like an ECM setting for him, in its deployment of violins, bagpipes, handclaps, softly sonorous drumming and classically intoned vocals. Its great strengths are the extended improvisations of Arguelles (particularly on tenor sax, where he sounds at times like a 21st-century version of 1960s Stan Getz) and the elegant violin of Chris Garrick. It misses a little on an account of Concierto de Aranjuez, and Jean-Pierre Rasle's bagpipes aren't always entirely secure with the pulse or the pitch. But Dankworth's playing has a captivating bounce, his own themes gently personal yet deeply rooted in the idiom. And the resourceful Phil Robson plays Spanish guitar as if raised on it.

 

06/07/2008 Dave Gelly, The Observer

Jazz, as Jelly Roll Morton observed, works very well with a 'Spanish tinge' and Dankworth, with his special fondness for all things Spanish, proves the point here. Alongside his own compositions and arrangements of folk songs, there are Spanish-jazz pieces by Dizzy Gillespie, Pat Metheny and Chick Corea. He works them all into an attractive patchwork of rhythms and textures using six players - saxophone, violin, bagpipes, guitar, bass and percussion - and two singers, his daughter Emily and his mother, Cleo Laine. Dankworth's bass playing, sounding at times like an enormous Spanish guitar, is outstanding.

 

04/07/2008 Ray Comiskey, Irish Times 4 stars****

Iberian-flavoured jazz, folksong and classical music are attractively fleshed out by a group that includes Julian Argüelles (tenor/soprano), Phil Robson (guitars), Chris Garrick (violin) and the wonderful drumming of Marc Miralta. Bassist Alec Dankworth contributes two strikingly idiomatic originals (Palmas and El Levante) to a wide-ranging programme in which French bagpipes specialist Jean-Pierre Rasle is comfortably accommodated on a couple of folk songs (with lyrics sung by Emily Dankworth).

Materfamilias Cleo Laine provides the album footnote with her own Dreams of Castilla . Despite the hackneyed choice of Rodrigo's guitar Concierto in a repertoire that includes originals by Chick Corea, Pat Metheny, Dizzy Gillespie and Jack DeJohnette, the band's considerable talents create something homogenous without losing its exotic accent.

 

01/07/2008 Jazzwise - Robert Shore

****
Alec Dankworth has shared stages with Stephane Grappelli, Abdullah Ibrahim and Courtney Pine, not to mention his dad, John, and mum, Cleo Laine. So he hardly needs to give further evidence of his chops as a player. But with this highly engaging and original set of ambient Hispanica, Dankworth really emerges as a bandleader in his own right. Pursuing a fresh and fruitful line of musical thinking and surrounding himself with a crack team – including French bagpipe specialist Rasle and Barcelona-based percussionist Miralta, who adds a host of authentic rhythmic flavours – Dankworth sets out to explore a variety of Spanish moods, employing a richly diverse sound palette to do so. There are stirringly romantic original compositions (the flamenco-fuelled ‘Palmas’ and ‘El Levante’), versions of Spanish-related jazz and non-jazz standards (from Chick Corea’s ‘Armando’s Rhumba’ to Rodrigo’s ‘Concierto de Aranjuez’) and seductive takes on traditional Iberian folk songs (‘Cantos’)

 

03/06/2008 Chris Parker, Vortex Website

As its title suggests, this album takes its inspiration from jazz's 'Spanish tinge', deploying various combinations of bassist/composer Alec Dankworth, guitarist Phil Robson, saxophonist Julian Argüelles, violinist Chris Garrick, bagpiper Jean-Pierre Rasle and Barcelona-based drummer Marc Miralta (plus singers Emily Dankworth and Cleo Laine) to range through a skilfully varied repertoire including everything from Rodrigo's 'Concierto de Aranjuez', through traditional pieces and appropriate material by the likes of Chick Corea and Jack DeJohnette, Pat Metheny and Dizzy Gillespie, to original compositions by Dankworth himself. The core of the band, the trio of Dankworth, Robson and Argüelles, recorded a mysteriously underrated album, If You're Passing By (Candid) in 2003, and there is consequently a fine easy coherence to the group's interaction here, Argüelles's familiar bubblingly elegant saxophone sound affectingly set off by Robson's wonderfully versatile guitar playing (filigree-delicate one minute, spikily assertive the next) and Dankworth's full-bodied but agile bass. Garrick's violin and Rasle's pipes provide welcome touches of stridency to the sound-mix as required, and with Miralta subtly driving the whole either with kit, percussion or hand-clapping (palmas), the album's textural and rhythmic variation renders the programme wholly absorbing. Emily Dankworth has a beautifully pure, ringing voice, particularly appropriate for the traditional love song, 'Los Cuatros Muleros', and with Cleo Laine bringing all her warmth and experience to the album's closer, 'Dreams of Castilla' (which she wrote with Alan Clare), this is a fine, wide-ranging but ultimately pleasingly homogeneous album, impeccably performed and intelligently programmed.

 

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