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Pianist Alex Conde Reimagines the music of Bud Powell

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Virtuoso Alex Conde Reimagines Bud Powell through a Flamenco lens on Descarga for Bud. This illuminating 9-track set uses Powell’s bebop landmark tunes as blueprints for an exciting fusion of the Caribbean and Iberoamerican musical lore.
Alex Conde is a talented pianist, bandleader, and composer who has been in the jazz industry for over a decade. He has performed on some of the most prestigious stages in jazz, and his unique musical style and dazzling technique have gained him well-deserved recognition. Critic Raul da Gama praised him, saying that his music is “sustained by the richness of his Spanish roots and that he is a thrilling musician.”
Alex has released several records, earning a reputation as a thoughtful performer who merges Latin jazz with traditional Spanish music. His album Descarga for Monk, a tribute to Thelonious Monk, was widely praised. His 2018 release Origins explored the origins of Afro-Cuban music and jazz from a flamenco perspective. For his latest project, Descarga for Bud, Alex has teamed up with drummer Colin Douglas, multi-Grammy nominated percussionist John Santos, and acclaimed bassist Jeff Chambers, who beautifully adapts to Alex’s astute arrangements of Powell’s compositions.
Conde’s musical arrangements in tracks like “Oblivion,” “Parisian Thoroughfare,” and “Bouncing with Bud” are centered around traditional flamenco forms like Bulerías or Soleá. He features the talents of fellow Spanish musicians such as Sergio Martínez on cajón and claps, and flamenco guitarist José Luis de la Paz. Paz’s unique contributions blend the styles of bebop and flamenco music in an exceptional and moving way. Mike Olmos plays the trumpet on the album, skillfully weaving bebop lines throughout the bulerías arrangement of “The Fruit,” and the fast-paced and intricate “Tempus Fugit.” “Hallucinations” leans more towards the classic Latin jazz idiom. Meanwhile, “Wail” is played as a cheerful calypso, and Jeff Narell doubles the melody on the steel pan.
In the 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 a rhythmical richness that is simultaneously sophisticated and refreshing.” 
Alex Conde demonstrates his incredible prowess as a pianist throughout this brilliant new release, taking inspired solos and skillfully supporting his bandmates. In his acknowledgment notes, he dedicates this album to the fathers of jazz, the black American composers who created this music and whom he has admired since an early age. Descarga for Bud is a loving tribute to one of the architects of jazz, one which explores the massive stylistic potential of Powell’s oeuvre.
Descarga for Bud Preview
El virtuoso Alex Conde reimagina a Bud Powell a través de una lente flamenca en Descarga para Bud. Este iluminador set de 9 pistas utiliza las emblemáticas melodías bebop de Powell como modelo para una emocionante fusión de la tradición musical caribeña e iberoamericana.
Alex Conde es un talentoso pianista, director de orquesta y compositor que lleva más de una década en la industria del jazz. Ha actuado en algunos de los escenarios más prestigiosos del jazz, y su estilo musical único y su deslumbrante técnica le han valido un merecido reconocimiento. El crítico Raúl da Gama lo elogió diciendo que su música está “sustentada por la riqueza de sus raíces españolas y que es un músico apasionante”.
Alex ha lanzado varios discos, ganándose la reputación de ser un intérprete reflexivo que fusiona el jazz latino con la música tradicional española. Su álbum Descarga for Monk, un homenaje a Thelonious Monk, fue muy elogiado. Su lanzamiento de 2018 Origins exploró los orígenes de la música y el jazz afrocubanos desde una perspectiva flamenca. Para su último proyecto, Descarga for Bud, Alex se ha asociado con el baterista Colin Douglas, el percusionista nominado a varios Grammy John Santos y el aclamado bajista Jeff Chambers, quien se adapta maravillosamente a los astutos arreglos de Alex de las composiciones de Powell.
Los arreglos musicales de Conde en temas como “Oblivion”, “Parisian Thoroughfare” y “Bouncing with Bud” se centran en formas tradicionales del flamenco como Bulerías o Soleá. Cuenta con el talento de otros músicos españoles como Sergio Martínez en cajón y palmas, y el guitarrista flamenco José Luis de la Paz. Las contribuciones únicas de Paz combinan los estilos del bebop y la música flamenca de manera excepcional y conmovedora. Mike Olmos toca la trompeta en el álbum, tejiendo hábilmente líneas de bebop a lo largo del arreglo por bulerías de “The Fruit” y el trepidante e intrincado “Tempus Fugit”. “Hallucinations” se inclina más hacia el lenguaje clásico del jazz latino. Mientras tanto, “Wail” se toca como un alegre calipso y Jeff Narell duplica la melodía en el plato de acero.
En las notas de Descarga para Bud, el nominado al Grammy Julio Martí declara: “[este álbum] es su mejor trabajo hasta la fecha. Alex hace suyo el universo musical de este genio del bebop y le añade una riqueza rítmica que es a la vez sofisticada y refrescante”.
Alex Conde demuestra su increíble destreza como pianista a lo largo de este brillante nuevo lanzamiento, tomando solos inspirados y apoyando hábilmente a sus compañeros de banda. En sus notas de agradecimiento, dedica este álbum a los padres del jazz, los compositores negros estadounidenses que crearon esta música y a quienes admira desde muy joven. Descarga for Bud es un cariñoso tributo a uno de los arquitectos del jazz, que explora el enorme potencial estilístico de la obra de Powell.

LABEL: Sedajazz SJ107
TRACKLISTING 1. The Fruit (Bulería); 2. Oblivion (Tangos); 3. Bouncing with Bud (Alegría); 4. Dusk in Saudi (Soleá); 5. Wail (Calypso); 6. Parisian Thoroughfare (Bulería al golpe); 7. Hallucinations (Latin/Jazz); 8. Tempus Fugit (Rumba); 9. Celia (Bulería) (5:57)
All music was composed by Bud Powell.
PERSONNEL 
Alex Conde, Piano/arrangements
John Santos, Congas, Bongos on tracks (2, 5, 7, 8)
Jeff Chambers (Double bass)
Sergio Martínez (Cajón & djembe on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6 & 9)
Mike Olmos (Trumpet on tracks 1 & 8)
Jeff Narell (Steelpan on track 5)
José Luis de la Paz (Guitar on track 2 & 6)
Descarga for Bud is available on all digital platforms
Source: Alex Conde · Sedajazz · Lydia Liebman Promotions
A graduate of Empire State College with a dual major in journalism and Latin American studies, Editor-in-Chief Tomas Peña has spent years applying his knowledge and writing skills to the promotion of great musicians. A specialist in the crossroads between jazz and Latin music, Peña has written extensively on the subject. His writing appears on Latin Jazz Network; Chamber Music America magazine and numerous other publications.

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