David Virelles – “Fititi Ñongo”

David Virelles, “Fititi Nongo,” from Gnosis

Courtesy ECM Records

On Gnosis, pianist David Virelles explores the musical possibilities of the ritual systems of his native Cuba and the expansive aesthetic fostered by musicians like Henry Threadgill, with whom he has studied. The album features percussionist Román Díaz and an ensemble that includes strings and woodwinds, and together these musicians engage in a new kind of chamber music built on tradition and imagination.

“Fititi Ñongo” is a clean, compact tune that, with repeated listens, reveals a wealth of sonic influences, from Cuban son to European classical music. Cascading hand percussion, interlocking chords and lush harmonies provide the motion; Virelles’ probing artistic vision and searching pianism provide the depth.

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