The Melting Pot
"Some of my most indelible memories of Cuba are of coming home from a rumba or tambor, with those rhythms in my head and then drifting off as my father played Bach downstairs. I suppose that it was inevitable that the two would eventually merge creatively."
-Jorge Gomez, musical director and pianist of Tiempo Libre
As a music student who has studied the inventions, fugues, and other masterworks of Johann Sebastian Bach, it's certainly refreshing to hear a whole new approach to these classics revived in a Cuban style. Featuring such musical genres as the Batá, Timba, Bolero, Guaguancó and several solo artists, Tiempo Libre takes the melodies of Bach as a starting point for a whole new Latin adventure.
Some of my favorites? Track 9, "Baqueteo con Bajo" is a Danzón based off of the glorious Cello Suite No. 1, featuring solo clarinetist Paquito D'Rivera. I might be a clarinetist myself and thus have some bias, but D'Rivera has a spectacular tone that really shines through on this track. Also worth noting is the very first track, "Tu Conga Bach" which begins itself with a brass interpretation of Fugue in C Minor, then breaking out into full-scale Conga madness!
This brilliant Latin Jazz/Classical crossover is definitely worth a spin (or three).