Jan 27, 2019
After pianist Alfredo Rodriguez arranged to get percussion master Pedrito Martinez to appear on a few tracks of his 2014 Mack Avenue release The Invasion Parade, it seemed inevitable that they would collaborate further. Both born and raised in Cuba, Pedrito is a decade older than Alfredo, but they displayed a natural feel for playing together, and bring out the best in one another. Duologue is the album that shows just how much the two can do together. Stripping things down to just the pair, they prove the old adage that one plus one sometimes equals three. If not more!
The lyrical compositions of Rodriguez were recorded as demos and emailed to Martinez, who then Wrote lyrics and percussion notes. Sometimes, Pedrito would respond as quickly as thirty minutes after receipt of a tune. The pair then took their material to the studio for four days, and had their Rodriguez’s mentor Quincy Jones do his things to polish the production. The results are alternately introspective and fiercely outgoing. From the melodic “Mariposa” and “Cosas del Amor,” to the chanting that kicks the dance-friendly “Africa” into gear, the record never fails to thrill.
My conversation with the two was a delight. Rarely have I had two collaborators more enamored of working together, and full of praise for the other. Their sincere love of playing music, and making an audience happy, shines through as we talked. The pair will be touring in support of the album, making each stop a must-see event.
Podcast 657 is my conversation with Alfredo Rodriguez and Pedrito Martinez, including musical selections “Africa”, “Cosa del Amor”, and their Michael Jackson meets Havana cover of "Thriller.