Chano Dominguez – Over the Rainbow (Sunnyside)
Spanish pianist Chano Dominguez unites his native country’s flamenco music with American jazz in an ornate, darkly sensuous and rhythmically compelling style that’s utterly unique. In this riveting solo recital, he spans jazz standards and Latin American songs, along with original works that draw from both worlds, in a performance that grabs the listener and never lets go.
Dominguez uses flamenco rhythms to mold Thelonious Monk’s infinitely malleable “Evidence” into unexpected shapes, holding his twin sensibilities in creative tension for a very personal take on the jazz world’s most demanding and idiosyncratic composer. The dialogue between styles is heard on pieces from South American and Cuban songwriters, as well. Dominguez delivers a joyous rendition of Chilean singer-songwriter Violeta Parra’s famous “Gracias a la Vida,” garlanding it with sparkling, intricate lines unfurled over dancing left-hand chords. He hugs the melody of “Hacia Dónde” by Cuban singer-songwriter Marta Valdés (with whom he’s recorded), gradually builds to a thundering tremolo, then changes direction for an extended flamenco-post-bop fantasy.
Flamenco, tango, and jazz intertwine in “Los Ejes de Mi Carreta” by Argentinian folksinger Atahualpa Yupanqui. Dominguez’s own “Mantreria” is a majestic example of how thoroughly flamenco and jazz are married in his music. It’s an urgent, surging piece in which the handclaps and footwork of flamenco propel him to some of his most physical and flamboyant playing. The entire album is a showcase for his seductive and thrilling approach to jazz piano.
— Ed Hazell