Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Harold Lopez-Nussa New Day Jazz Village 2013

With New Day, Harold Lopez-Nussa launches his coming out party with one of the most auspicious releases to grace modern jazz piano in the last decade.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
There are a number of fine pianists to come out of Cuba with perhaps Harold Lopez-Nussa leading the way as one of the new lions of modern jazz. While a great many of his contemporaries are steeped in classical tradition, Lopez-Nussa posses the uncanny ability to move past the more rigid and meticulous academic approach to a warmth and organic sound highlighted with his use of the fender rhodes. New Day boasts an incredibly tight 4tet with brother Ruy Adrian Lopez Nussa holding down the drum chair with finesse and a rhythmic flair that is loaded with a percussive pop perhaps drawn from his training as a pianist as well. Double bassist Gaston Joya is another integral part of this lyrically layered approach to retro rhythm and groove while trumpeter Mayquel Gonzalez is but pure flavor.

While not a conceptual release as such, Harold draw upon his Cuban heritage and cultural history to create an almost hard bop goes world music vibe in which there is a smoldering celebratory undercurrent of passion of both music and life. Not hip to Latin jazz or the Cuban connection as it plays out in modern jazz? No worries, the lyrically adventurous influences that spring forth from such a deft touch at the piano bench include Keith Jarrett and Wayne Shorter, add the Cuban mojo (*) and your plate is now full! Perhaps the breakthrough if not breakout moment for Harold occurred when he was chosen for the Cuban-American all star band Ninety Miles. This stellar lineup included Christian Scott, Stefon Harris, and David Sanchez.

Transcending cultural and genre barriers, Harold Lopez-Nussa has released one of the most forward thinking piano based releases in some time. The ever optimistic Lopez-Nussa hopes for more cultural exchanges with the United States but in the meantime there is in fact a new shooter and a new day in modern jazz and his name is Harold Lopez-Nussa!

Tracks: A Deguello; Cimarron; Paseo; Fantasmas En Caravana; Otro Viaje; New Day; Corriendo Por Los Portales; Eso Fue Hace 20; Buenos Modales; Enro.

Personnel: Harold Lopez-Nussa: Piano and Keyboards; Gaston Joya: Double Bass; Ruy Adrian Lopez-Nussa: Drums, Percussion; Mayquel Gonzalez: Trumpet.


*Mojo - In Cuban cuisine, a spice mixture.