There was a lyric from a Three Dog Night song that said; I've never been to Spain, but I kinda like the music. On their latest CD, the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic under the direction of conductor/trumpeter Orbert Davis takes us on a musical journey through Spain. This project Sketches of Spain is based on the classic recording by trumpeter Miles Davis and Gil Evans. The music was composed, adapted and orchestrated by Orbert Davis. On this album Orbert Davis strived for a freer rhythm section interpretation which blends African, Spanish and Middle Eastern percussion instruments.
The opening song is titled Concierto de Aranjuez runs 17:56 minutes long. It sounds like about four to five songs rolled into one. Listening to this song captures images of Spain that we have come to know over time such as: matadors, flamenco dancers and a vibrant culture. The other songs on the album are: Muerte del Matador, El Moreno, El Albaicin and Solea. Orbert Davis also plays the flugelhorn on this album. He was a very busy man on this project.
The Chicago Jazz Philharmonic Chamber Ensemble did a fantastic job and they should be saluted. The players include: Kedgrick Pullums on flute, alto flute and piccolo, Steve Eisen on flute, alto flute and tenor saxophone, Somerlie De Pasquale on oboe, Anna Najoon on clarinet, David Spencer on trumpet, flugelhorn and Michael Hogg on tuba. The other musicians are: Jessica Pearce on French horn, Henry Salgado on trombone, Talia Pavia on violin, Kate Carter also on violin, Lynn La Plante Allaway onviola, Ellen Frolichstein on cello. Rounding out the rest of the personnel are: Leandra Lopez Varady on piano, Stewart Miller on bass, Ernie Adams on drums, cajon, doumbek and percussion, Suzanne Osman on doumbek and oud, Sarah Allen on timpani and Jonathan Reed on snare drum and triangle.
If you want to get more information on this group, check out their website: www.chijazzphil.org. Also check out the website for Orbert Davis on www.orbertdavis.com. Kudos also for the fine illustration and design CD cover by Arthur Turnbull, Jr. and original artwork by Jaylyn Scott.