Jazz has a long history of interpreting music from the American songbook. Latin America has just as lofty a collection; many of these compositions were written by the tremendous Mexican composer Armando Manzanero.
Manzanero’s legacy is well established. He has received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award for his work as a singer and composer. Born in Mexico in 1935, Manzanero found success in music early on, from the first song he wrote, at age 15, “Nunca en el Mundo,” which remains a standard. His career blossomed and his wonderful compositions have been performed by a broad array of artists, including Elvis Presley, Tony Bennett, Frank Sinatra and Christina Aguilera.
For his latest recording, Paquito & Manzanero, the great woodwind master Paquito D’Rivera illuminates the incredible work of Manzanero in Paquito’s favored idiom, Latin jazz. Along with his fantastic ensemble, featuring members like trumpeter Diego Urcola, drummer Antonio Sanchez and Manzanero himself, on vocals. D’Rivera shows why Manzanero has been celebrated across the globe.
D’Rivera is no stranger to the many diverse styles of Latin music and is happy to incorporate many of them in his projects. Manzanero’s beloved compositions lend themselves well to these new formats, in beautiful arrangments by Alex Brown and Diego Urcola. From tango to Venezuelan waltz to straight bebop, the music on Paquito & Manzanero highlights the adaptability of these fantastic melodies to any musical style. Bill Evans even performed his own arrangement of “Esta Tarde Vi Llover,” which he called “Yesterday I Heard The Rain,” here rearranged by Alex Brown.
The recording is a special collaboration. Even more so, as Manzanero was on hand to supervise the arrangements and lend his vocals.
released January 22, 2016
Paquito D'Rivera - alto, soprano sax, clarinet and tárogató
Diego Urcola - trumpet, flugelhorn and valve trombone
Alex Brown - piano
Carlos Henriquez - double bass
Antonio Sánchez - drums
Ariel Lude - bandoneon
Armando Manzanero - vocals