Coto Pincheira: The Sonido Moderno Project.
The Sonido Moderno Project
The long awaited debut album by San Francisco Bay Area pianist/keyboardist Coto Pincheira is a marvel of synthesized electric jazz blended with Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythm. A native Chilean, Coto moved as a teenager to Cuba to study music. His journey led him to a variety of gigs, including a steady job playing at the Tropicana Nightclub. It was a time in Cuba, around the late 1970s (when Chucho Valdes and Emiliano Salvador were integrating synthesizers into the Cuban mix) that served to provide a profound influence, as this album ably demonstrates. With some of the SF Bay's best, Coto delivers intriguing music with high-caliber artistry. The opening track, Suite 301, contains three distinct parts that evoke different moods and texture. One minute Coto is grooving on keys (a la Return to Forever) and pouring out cascades of electrified melodic lines, and the next he is playing on an acoustic grand with a classical jazzy feel. Dave McNab rocks out on guitar on Positive Influences for the first part, before Coto digs in for a great acoustic piano solo, this time over an upbeat straight-ahead/hard bop beat. Danzon For a Night (featuring special guests Alfredo de la Fe and Orestes Vilato) and Wendy's Ballad slow things down beautifully for an intimate portrayal of Coto's musical gifts. Tribute to a Generation should have been called Tribute to Irakere as the tune gets a terrific treatment from the horn section who impeccably performs the complicated syncopated melodies with precision and swing. A Chileno in Havana is a funky backbeat boogaloo that is highlighted by Mike Olmos' blistering trumpet solo, closing out a remarkable album by a remarkable musician. (JV)