Poncho Sanchez & Terence Blanchard Pay Tribute To Gillespie & Pozo

by chipboaz on January 20, 2017

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It’s hard to believe that such a short period of collaboration would lead to such an important burst of musical motion, but that’s exactly what happened in the partnership between Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo. Their working relationship is legendary in the Latin Jazz world, yielding classic songs like “Manteca,” “Tin Tin Deo,” Cubana Be Cubana Bop,” and more. Yet Gillespie and Pozo spent a little over a year together, which seems like a blink of an eye; fortunately, it was an extremely productive year. They built upon trends already started by Machito and Mario Bauza, combining jazz harmony and improvisation with Afro-Cuban rhythms. Gillespie’s star power in the jazz world, alongside Pozo’s powerfully charismatic presence and deep knowledge of Afro-Cuban music added the weight of credibility and entertainment to their colloboration. As the jazz world looked to Gillespie as a leader in the music, they saw Pozo and embraced them both, simultaneously acknowledging and legitimizing the presence of Cuban rhythms in jazz. Unfortunately, right when they began, Pozo died and their working relationship abruptly ended. Gillespie certainly continued performing jazz with an Afro-Cuban backdrop, serving as a massive advocate for the style, but he did so without Pozo’s contribution.

The end of the Gillespie-Pozo partnership was seventy years ago, but we see it continued in today’s video, which features the trumpet player Terence Blanchard performing with The Poncho Sanchez Band. There’s a direct connection between Gillespie and Blanchard as well as Pozo and Sanchez; the elders were big inspirations to the younger musicians. Both Blanchard and Sanchez took the time to study their Gillespie and Pozo well, learning the technical aspects of their music, but also the inner workings. That insider knowledge is very apparent on their 2011 album Poncho Sanchez and Terence Blanchard = Chano y Dizzy!. The duo covers a number of important songs from the Gillespie-Pozo era through top notch arrangements by trombonist Franciso Torres, as well as some additional pieces that compliment the setting. They do more than just play important songs though; they capture the essence of the Gillespie-Pozo relationship with joy and enthusiasm. The musical results are fantastic as we can see in this live performance, making us hope for a longer collaboration between these two musicians.

Do you have a Latin Jazz video to share? E-mail a link to latinjazzcorner@gmail.com

Check out recent Latin Jazz videos:
Charlie Sepulveda, Perico Ortiz, And Eddie Feijoo Trading Trumpet Solos On The Brick Wall
The Essence Of The Song: Rosa Passos performing Jobim’s Você Vai Ver
Ralph Irizarry And Timbalaye Performing Piestos
Danilo Pérez Trio Plays Providencia
Music From Robby Ameen And The Days In The Night Band

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