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World Music CD Reviews Greater Latin America

JERRY GONZALEZ Y LOS PIRATAS

By Tom Pryor
Published January 19, 2006

Jerry Gonzalez y Los Piratas del Flamenco
Sunnyside

Latin jazz aficionados know Nuyorican trumpeter/percussionist Jerry Gonzalez as the longtime leader of the legendary Fort Apache band; but with this new release on the ever-inventive Sunnyside label, Gonzalez sheds his New York skin and reinvents himself as a flamenco. Taking a cue from Bebo Valdes (no surprise, considering that both were featured in Spanish filmmaker Fernando Trueba’s acclaimed 2000 release, Calle 54), Gonzalez teams up with an all-star crew of Spanish flamenco talent, including singer Diego el Cigala, percussionist Israel Suarez and guitarist Niño Josele. The result is a dreamy, laidback set of flamenco standards and original compositions that puts Gonzalez’s buttery trumpet front and center. Tracks such as “Gitanos De La Cava” and “Al Abordaje” are masterpieces of acoustic simplicity: stripped-down, smooth, cool and passionate all at once. These tracks prove just how well Gonzalez’s recent residency in the peñas and jazz clubs of Madrid has paid off—and that the Iberian jazz fantasy that Miles Davis birthed on Sketches Of Spain is alive and well.