Descarga for Bud
Release date: May 28, 2021
Descarga for Bud is the exhilarating new album from Spanish pianist and bandleader Alex Conde. A bold reimagining of compositions by one of jazz’s most enigmatic figures, Bud Powell, this illuminating 9-track set uses these bebop landmarks as blueprints for an exciting fusion of Caribbean and Iberoamerican musical lore. Available everywhere on May 28, 2021 via Spanish label Sedajazz, Descarga for Bud is the second installment in Conde’s Descargas series, the first of which was his widely-acclaimed 2015 release Descarga for Monk (Zoho).
For over a decade, pianist Alex Conde has maintained a fruitful and versatile career as a bandleader and composer. His dazzling technique and unique musical presentation has brought him to some of the most prestigious stages in jazz. Revered critic Raul da Gama says “[Conde] is a pianist whose music is sustained by the fecundity of his Spanish roots. Through it all, Mr. Conde is absolutely thrilling.” On record, Conde has cemented a reputation as an accomplished performer with an astute approach to unifying Latin jazz with music traditions from his native Spain. His adventurous tribute to iconoclast Thelonious Monk, Descarga for Monk, received unanimous praise, as did his 2018 release with Ropeadope, Origins, which explored the roots of Afro-Cuban music and jazz from a flamenco perspective. With Descarga for Bud, Conde reunites with multi-Grammy nominated percussionist John Santos and acclaimed bassist Jeff Chambers, and adds drummer Colin Douglas to the mix. These seasoned and versatile players beautifully adapt to Conde’s astute arrangements of Powell’s compositions.
On tracks such as “Oblivion”, “Parisian Thoroughfare” and the time-tested “Bouncing with Bud”, Conde’s arrangements revolve around traditional flamenco forms such as Bulerías or Soleá, on which he employs the talents of fellow countrymen Sergio Martínez on cajón and claps and flamenco guitarist Jose Luis de la Paz. Paz’s unique contributions bridge the aesthetics of both bebop and flamenco music in a particularly astounding and affecting way. The album also features Mike Olmos on trumpet who effortlessly lays bona-fide bebop lines over the bulerías arrangement of “The Fruit” and the complex and brisk “Tempus Fugit”. “Hallucinations” leans toward the classic Latin jazz idiom, while the rhapsodic melody of “Wail” is played as a joyous calypso with Jeff Narrell doubling the melody on steel pan.
In his liner notes for Descarga for Bud, Grammy nominee Julio Martí declares, “[this album] is his best work to date. Alex makes the musical universe of this bebop genius his own, and adds to it a rhythmical richness, that is at the same time sophisticated and very refreshing.”
Throughout this brilliant new release, Alex Conde demonstrates his incredible prowess as a pianist, taking inspired solos and skillfully supporting his bandmates. In his acknowledgement notes he dedicates this album to the fathers of jazz, the black American composers who created this music and who he has admired since an early age. Desacarga for Bud is a loving tribute to one of the architects of jazz, one which explores the massive stylistic potential of Powell’s oeuvre.
"On Descarga For Bud (Sedajazz), pianist Alex Conde brilliantly extrapolates the complex beats and duende-suffused ambiance of flamenco music onto the sublime, turbulent compositions of Bud Powell." Read this feature here.
"Throughout Descaraga For Bud, Conde demonstrates his prowess at the keyboard, each note landing right on top of the beat in an inspired fusion of the classic bebop lexicon with traditional Caribbean and Iberoamerican stylings. " Read the review here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Above all else, there is a powerful synthesis between Conde's flamenco-influenced arrangements and Powell's foundational bebop language. It is bebop and flamenco, and has an energy all of its own. Flamenco and bebop fans should both take note." Read the full review here.
RAUL DA GAMA
LATIN JAZZ NET
"Mr Conde is an exceptional artist, whose musicianship and pianism are redolent of a shimmering sense of sonority and the ability to find a keen balance between poetry and intensity. With these unique qualities And an ensemble so completely attuned to his vision and artistry, it’s no wonder that we have with us an album to die for." Read the review here.
"... a truly masterful arranger. He and his band deserve numerous kudos for their ultra-musical rendering." Read the review here.
DEE DEE MCNEIL
"This is music that explores Powell’s brilliance, but also showcases the sparkle and genius of Alex Conde and his band of wonderful musicians. They bring a fresh perspective to jazz music with their own cultural beauty." Read this review here.
NEW YORK CITY JAZZ RECORD
"..the inventive treatments and creative piano solos mostly keep the melody intact even when the tempo and rhythms are different than one would expect. The results are enjoyable and consistently surprising." Read the full review here.
ALL ABOUT JAZZ
"Conde's Latin-inflected formula is a winning one..." Read the 4-star review here.