Album info



Label: Neuklang

Genre: Jazz

Artist: Marialy Pacheco

Album including Album cover Booklet (PDF)


Formats & Prices

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FLAC 96 $ 13.40
  • 1El Bola06:34
  • 2Capricho do Sul05:02
  • 3Metro06:06
  • 4You05:23
  • 5Gitanerias03:14
  • 6Burundanga08:42
  • 7La Comparsa08:39
  • 8La Bikina06:50
  • 9El Bola 'Warming Up' (Bonustrack)07:03
  • Total Runtime57:33

Info for Duets

Marialy Pacheco meets Hamilton de Holanda, Joo Kraus, Rhani Krija, Max Mutzke, Omar Sosa and Miguel Zenon; six established figures from across the globe, each master of his own craft.

With such a wealth of expertise and musicality on hand, a performance featuring all of these artists at the same time would inevitably mean that some aspects would be lost. So instead we have chosen to feature a series of separate ‘rendezvous’. And the Cuban pianist extracts the very best out of each individual encounter. The title of the CD, ‘Duets’, sums up this concept succinctly and although this may sound rather matter-of-fact, more lies behind it - much more.

No other line-up can illustrate concepts from every-day life with such persistence: there is much talk of ‘nakedness’, ‘intimacy’, ‘discussion’ or ‘dialogue’, even couples’ ‘musical relationships’. The duo promises communication pure: people converse and at the same time entertain others. Stories are told, questions are asked and answered, there is contradiction, ironizing and flirting. Ideas are expressed, expanded upon and steered in new directions. Intimate moments alternate with heated debate. Duets are associated with the art of dialogue: the ability to have a constructive discussion, not to talk at cross-purposes, to contribute and play a part without dominating the other person.

With so much anthropological significance it might come as a surprise that this form of vocal exchange is relatively new in human jazz history. An early milestone was set in 1972 by Gary Burton and Chick Corea in Munich: they had finished their individual solo performances at a festival when the organiser approached them with the request to perform together as a duo by way of an encore. Forty-two years later it was that same Chic Corea who, during a solo concert in Dortmund as part of the Ruhr Piano Festival, asked the young Cuban pianist, Marialy Pacheco, who had been sitting in the audience, to join him on the stage for a duet.

Chucho Valdes, the grand old man of Cuban jazz, once described the pianist as “the greatest of young piano talents”. At the time, she had just won a young musicians competition in Cuba, where Valdes headed up the jury. Pachecos’ mother conducts a choir which is famous both in Cuba and further afield. When the choir took part in the Bremen ‘Choir Olympics’ in 2004, Marialy was there and she decided to remain in the city, home of the ‘Stadtmusikanten’ (the town musicians which feature in the famous fairy tale written by the Brothers Grimm). After an extended stay in Australia, the pianist returned to Germany. Initially back to Bremen but she now lives in Dortmund. In 2012, Pacheco won the renowned Montreux Solo Piano Competition.

Cuban jazz pianists have always left a lasting impression - from Chucho Valdes, Gonzalo Rubalcaba and Hilario Duran to Omar Sosa, Ramón Valle and Roberto Fonseca, David Virelles, Alfredo Rodriguez and Rolando Luna. Time and again they combine Caribbean temperament and excellent technique gained through intensive study to produce a truly breath-taking performance culture. This has both a positive and a negative effect, for that ‘gimmicky’ style of playing along with the bland high-speed fusion (which failed because of our own egomania and which we thought had been laid to rest with the case long closed) - well, it still exists. It is perhaps not quite as pronounced as before, but is so virtuosic and flawless as to have lost none of its earlier impact. The admiration for Cuban jazz pianists grows and also for the number of exceptionally talented musicians that such a small country produces.

When Marialy Pacheco performs one can truly sense her virtuosity, flair and sheer joy of making music without constraints, set free after her strict classical training. But we’ll leave it up to the ‘gender specialists’ to decide whether the striking and pleasing absence of machismo in her playing is due to the fact that she is a woman. One never gets the impression that she is trying to prove anything. It’s all just about the music and musicianship. She is more a musician than a pianist - and not so much a Cuban, but rather a well-travelled artist who is not just interested in jazz, but in music in general.

The six fellow musicians who Marialy Pacheco invited to join her in duet at the renowned Bauer Studios in Ludwigsburg could be similarly described. Musical citizens from around the world: a Puerto-Rican who lives in New York (Miguel Zenon), a Cuban whose home is in Barcelona (Omar Sosa), a Moroccan from Cologne (Rhani Krija), a Brazilian conqueror of the music world (Hamilton De Holanda), a trumpet player from Ulm, who recorded one of his albums in Havana (Joo Kraus) and a native of Waldshut-Tiengen, who is known throughout Europe not just for his participation in the Eurovision Song Contest (Max Mutzke). Musicians who are not stylistically blinkered, but who are passionate, individual and authentic and endowed with the virtues which are the basic prerequisites for performing as part of a duo: the ability to listen, to engage fully with their counterpart and to leave their ego at the studio door.

Marialy Pacheco, piano (Bösendorfer Imperial)
Omar Sosa, piano, vocals
Hamilton de Holanda, mandolin
Joo Kraus, trumpet
Max Mutzke, vocals
Rhani Krija, percussion
Miguel Zenon, saxophone

Marialy Pacheco
belongs to the most talented Cuban musicians of her generation. At age 29 she has achieved enormous success in the world of jazz including the first woman to be awarded 1st prize at the 2012 solo piano competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival, 1st place in the Cuban Jazz competition “Jo Jazz” plus numerous awards for her original compositions. She has released 5 albums under her own name with 2 new releases due by the end of 2012. Marialy has toured extensively solo and with her trio throughout Australia, Asia and Europe and shared the stage with world class musicians including Tommy Emmanuel, James Morrison and Karl Perazzo.

Booklet for Duets

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