pianist / composer / producer / educator
New album release on May 28th 2021
I would say that Alex Conde flows through life with ease. He is always ready to face any challenge with aplomb and with a permanent smile on his face. Music for him is his profession and his passion. He loves to teach, and he is not bothered about the date, the time of the day, or the distance to travel to do so. But, above all, he loves to play, and it is in jazz improvisation where he thrives best at expressing all of the flamenco and classical music he has learned, for he started at a very young age at the Conservatorio Superior de Valencia.
“Descarga for Bud” is his best work to date. Alex makes the musical universe of this be-bop genius his own, and adds to it a rhythmical richness, that is at the same time sophisticated and very refreshing.
The album opens with “The Fruit”, a not so known piece of great beauty, that Alex arranges by bulerías for quartet, with special guest Mike Olmos on trumpet. The tune closes with a dialogue between piano and trumpet.
“Oblivion” follows next, played by tangos (not related to the Argentinian tango), which is one of my favorites. Alex builds his solo with a great sense of balance between jazz, flamenco and classical music where Jose Luis de la Paz adds his beautiful guitar.
“Bouncing with Bud” builds to a flamenco rhythm called “alegrías” that blends perfectly with the original piece. The piano solo starts smooth and light, gradually increasing the excitement making it flamenco by right, with flamenco hand claps and jaleos all along the piece, and with a short latin piano montuno towards the end.
“Dusk in Saudi” The solea represents the soul of flamenco music. It has jondura, meaning it “deepens within you”. Any Flamenco artist finds in the solea the way to express their truth and in this piece, Alex is pure magic.
“Wail” transforms into a calypso with Jeff Narell as a guest on steel drums. I’m sure that Sonny Rollins would have enjoyed jamming with this wonderful band. Cool and exciting at the same time.
“Parisian Thoroughfare” is one of the most recognizable of Bud Powell’s tunes. Again by bulerías al golpe. With this tune, I picture Alex and Bud on bicycles promenading through the Bois de Bologne. This song features Jose Luis de la Paz on guitar.
“Hallucinations” is another classic and it is treated here with a latin jazz feel. It features the only bass solo of the album, played by Jeff Chambers.
“Tempus Fugit" flies away as it starts with his rumba rhythm, very joyful. Mike Olmos is featured on trumpet again, and then we party with the rhythm section, carrying us through to a fast end.
The closing number “Celia” is another bulería. Personally, I’m crazy about “Celia”. Alex complained to me about the troubles he had recording this piece, but I can assure you it’s a great ending with a killer solo piano.
I hope you enjoy this music as much as I do, and if so, you will agree that Alex Conde is the real deal.
JULIO MARTÍ, PRESIDENT AT SERIOUS FAN MUSIC