Descarga for Bud is the exciting new album by Spanish pianist Alex Conde. A bold reinvention of the compositions of one of jazz’s most enigmatic figures, Bud Powell, this revealing 9-track set uses these bebop landmarks as blueprints for an exciting fusion of the Caribbean and Latin American musical tradition. Available on all platforms on May 28, 2021, and through Spanish label Sedajazz, Descarga for Bud is the second installment in the “ Descarga” series, the first of which was their acclaimed 2015 release Descarga for Monk (Zoho).
For more than a decade, pianist Alex Conde has maintained a fruitful and versatile career as an orchestral composer and songwriter. His dazzling technique and unique musical presentation have taken him to some of the most prestigious venues in jazz. The revered critic Raúl da Gama says “[Conde] is a pianist whose music is based on the fruitfulness of his Spanish roots. Regardless, El Conde is absolutely thrilling. ”Conde has built a reputation as an accomplished performer with a shrewd approach to unifying Latin jazz with the musical traditions of his native Spain. His adventurous tribute to the iconoclast Thelonious Monk, Descarga for Monk, received unanimous praise, as did its 2018 release with Ropeadope, Origins, that explored the roots of Afro-Cuban music and jazz from a flamenco perspective. With Descarga for Bud, Conde reunites with him with Grammy-nominated percussionist John Santos and acclaimed bassist Jeff Chambers and adds drummer Colin Douglas to the mix. These seasoned and versatile musicians are wonderfully suited to Conde’s astute arrangements over Powell’s compositions.
On songs like “Oblivion”, “Parisian Thoroughfare” and the popular “Bouncing with Bud”, Conde’s arrangements revolve around traditional flamenco forms such as Bulerías or Soleá, in which he uses the talent of his compatriots Sergio Martínez in the cajón and palmas and flamenco guitarist José Luis de la Paz. Paz’s unique contributions unite the aesthetics of bebop and flamenco music in a particularly astonishing and moving way. The album also features Mike Olmos on trumpet, who effortlessly puts genuine bebop lines over the bulerías arrangement of “The Fruit” and the complex and energetic “Tempus Fugit”.
“Hallucinations” leans toward the classic Latin jazz idiom, while the rhapsodic melody of “Wail” is played like a jolly calypso with Jeff Narrell doubling the tune on a steelpan.
In his 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 genius of bebop his own and adds a rhythmic richness, 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 thank-you notes, he dedicates this album to the fathers of jazz, the African-American composers, who created this music and whom he has admired from a very young age. Descarga for Bud is a loving tribute to one of the architects of jazz, exploring the enormous stylistic potential of Powell’s work. ~Sedajazz
1) The Fruit (Bulería) (7:35)
2) Oblivion (Tangos) (6:53)
3) Bouncing with Bud (Alegría) (7:11)
4) Dusk in Saudi ( Soleá) (5:30)
5) Wail (Calypso) (4:17)
6) Parisian Thoroughfare (Bulería to the beat) (5:59)
7) Hallucinations (Latin / Jazz) (5:38)
8) Tempus Fugit ( Rumba) (3:40)
9) Celia (Bulería) (5:57)
Music composed by Bud Powell
Alex Conde, Piano / Arrangements
John Santos, Congas, Bongos on tracks (2, 5, 7, 8)
Jeff Chambers, (Double bass)
Sergio Martínez, (Cajon & djembe on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 9)
Mike Olmos, (Trumpet on tracks 1 & 8)
Jeff Narell, (Steel pan on track 5)
Jose Luis de la Paz, ( Guitar on track 2 & 6)
Produced by Ricky Faatar
Co-Produced by Denny Abrams
At your leisure, spin this thrilling bebop-induced homage to pianist Bud Powell by Alex Conde titled Descarga for Bud below.