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.
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.