Friday, May 29, 2009

Timba at Saxapahaw!

Orquesta GarDel is getting ready to unveil more original tunes this Saturday (5/30) from 6-8 pm at the free Rivermill Outdoor Music Series in Saxapahaw.

This timba tune by trombone leader Andy Kleindienst debuted in April:



Now, keyboardist Eric Hirsh is about to bring his own baby on board. He says he was inspired to write complex, yet catchy horn lines last year after listening to a lot of Bamboleo and Charanga Habanera.
"I wanted to make sure that the rhythm feels distinctly Cuban. It's gotta have that aggressive FUNK," writes Eric.
This spring, GarDel's members collaborated during songwriting rehearsals to tie up loose ends.
"Nelson [Delgado] is really coming into his own as a lyricist," adds Eric. "His thematic concept for the song is very spiritual and philosophical, but in a way that still exhorts everyone to dance and have a good time."
I think we can oblige.

UPDATE 5/31:


I made it in time for the debut, but my camera battery gave out. So, no video! Coincidentally, Eric said one of his keyboards was not performing properly, so he was forced to turn it off. (Love the multiple keyboard effects he uses for GarDel and The Beast; that's timbalicious right there.) We agreed that we would re-premiere this work (does it have a title, E?) and publicly document it in the nearest possible future.

That said, my impressions: The Cuban funk is definitely there (hallelujah), and the texture is dark and complicated (what Eric called "a harmonic palette somewhere between an R&B song and modal jazz"). I was dancing during this song but I could feel most people stopping to listen and assess. This was quite different from GarDel's usual Puerto Rican weather, i.e. sun-drenched with occasional thunderstorms. This was a rumbling deep underground.

P.S. Almost forgot:
there's been a personnel change. Saxophonist Bluford Thompson, a degree candidate in jazz performance and composition at North Carolina Central, is taking over the chair of Wayne Leechford, who has left GarDel to pursue other opportunities. Wayne is a music veteran in the Triangle who has given lots of love to Latin music fans over the years. We wish him well, and issue a warm welcome to Blu; it should be an interesting bench this year as he joins reedsman Tim Smith.

4 comments:

Paso. said...

We are beyond stoked about GarDel's upcoming performance at Saxapahaw!

Personally it excites me from many different angles: GarDel's incessant pursuit of perfection that drives them to put out yet another Timba track gives me reason to push our instruction methodologies and students even harder.

Why? We are constantly reminding our students that both Cuban dance and Timba are alive and moving..developing and evolving.

GarDel is a real-life local example of what we try instill in our students.

In Zen, truly original means much more than standing apart it means from the origin, or the center. I truly believe that Eric and Andy write music from the center, a direct transmission for those with ears to hear.

We are most thankful for this!

Eric said...

y'all both like to burn the midnight oil. get some sleep so you can dance tonight!

Andy said...

Paso, you guys rock! You are the visual "yang" to our aural "ying". Keep on makin it happen!

Sentimiento Manana said...

I say this without hesitation, Gardel is the band to listen to in NC. They are really doing the music some justice, I only hope they keep pushing it...good work Andy and crew...