Oct 2, 2020
As the follow-up to his GRAMMY-winning big band
album, Back to the Sunset, Cuban-born
drummer, composer, educator, and 2011 MacArthur Genius Fellow
Dafnis Prieto returns to a smaller group release called
Transparency, on his independent music label,
Dafnison Music. Prieto's fearless Sextet features a top-shelf
lineup, including Román Filiú (alto sax), Alex Norris (trumpet),
Peter Apfelbaum (tenor sax), Alex Brown (piano), and Johannes
Transparency is the third release by the
Dafnis Prieto Sextet, following 2008's Taking the Soul
for a Walk and 2015's Triangles and
Circles. The album includes nine tracks, with all new
compositions by Prieto and an arrangement of Dizzy Gillespie's
classic, "Con Alma." The album, produced by GRAMMY and Latin
GRAMMY-winning producer Eric Oberstein (Prieto's
collaborator on Back to the Sunset), and
engineered by GRAMMY winner Mike Marciano, was recorded in NYC
in early March 2020 just prior to the COVID-19 shutdown, following
a four-night run at the world-famous Jazz Standard.
The music delights in not falling into any one genre, matching
the spark of a Latin beat with Jazz Messenger-like pop. The
three horn lineup is treated as if it were a "small big band"
Dafnis explained, and the arrangements for the two saxes and
trumpet do not disappoint,
Dafnis and I discussed the writing of his original
tunes, and how the Frost School at the University of Miami,
where he teaches, is handling the COVID outbreak, as well as his
feelings on his native Cuba and his place in a long line of great
Cuban percussionists. Musical selections include "Lazy Blues,"
"Feed the Lions," and "Con Alma."