Born: September 1, 1985 Primary Instrument: Bass, acoustic
Born in Rio Piedras,Puerto Rico,Bassist/Composer Alex Ayala is one of the most promising Musicians on the Scene.He studied in Escuela Libre de Musica,and Conservatorio de Musica Puerto Rico,in which he studied with legendary bassist Eddie Gomez and and performed with saxophonist David Sanchez.
Ayala has performed with artist such as Paoli Mejias,William Cepeda,Bryan Lynch,Jerry Gonzalez,LuispericoOrtiz,Humberto Ramirez,Giovanni Hidalgo,Nestor Torres,and long time friend and collaborator Felipe Fournier and Menos es Mas Quartet.
Recognized for his ability to play in the Latin/Tropical Music genre, Ayala is a first call bassist for notable artists as Gilberto Santa Rosa,Victor Manuelle,Puerto Rican Power,Tito Nieves,Roberto Rohena,Andy Montañez,Jose Alberto El canario,Lalo Rodriguez,Tony Vega,among others.
Ayala has also recorded with Jose LugoGuasabara(Grammy Award Nominee),Nestor Torres Noveau Latino(Grammy Award Nominee),Gilberto Santa RosaIrrepetible(Grammy Award Winner),and Paoli Mejias De Jazzambia a Mi Tambor-El Concierto.
He has appeared in premier venues such as Madison Square Garden,Greek Theater,Staples Center,Coliseo de Puerto Rico,Luis.A.Ferré Center for the Perfoming Arts(Puerto Rico),House of Blues,Feria de Cali,Dia Nacional de la Salsa(Puerto Rico),American Airlines Arena,among numerous festivals and concerts in North America,South America,and Europe.
His first release as leader/producer Onward was released in April of 2012, and is receiving favorable reviews in the media and amongst his fellow musicians.
The upright bass has a way of selecting its players. Not everyone who attempts is chosen; it is an instrument that requires intense dedication and demands strict discipline. Alex Ayala is a natural bassist who comprehends his role as the foundation of the musical ensemble, and has risen to the occasion.
Having acquired an impressive resume as a foremost bassist in Puerto Rico, Ayala has taken the initiative to release Onward, his first record as leader with inspiring results. Ayala not only produced and arranged, but he also composed four of the eight selections, which offer a broad scope of his abilities and those of his accompanists.
The opening track “Princesa Wayúu,” a trio setting with Luis Marin on piano and Raul Maldonado on drums, has a strong indigenous structure with complex tempo changes and fierce three way interplay. They slide right into a deep groove on “Pensando En Agua,” in which Ayala displays his virtuosity while soloing. He takes his solos further out on “Alone Together,” a piece though composed by Arthur Schwartz, becomes a vehicle for Ayala to shine.
The pleasant surprise on the album is Steve Swallow’s “Falling Grace” with Rafael Rosa joining in on sampled guitar for the genuine fusion effect. “Las Cosas Que No Se Pueden Decir” highlights another set of players and features horn men Jonathan Suazo on alto, and Norberto “Tiko” Ortiz on tenor, displaying extremely tight synchronization.
“Lamento y Esperanza” is performed as a melancholy dirge; with pianist Eduardo Zayas playing sparsely with anticipated suspense building up around Ayala’s full bodied bass lines. To fulfill the request for an obligatory Latin jazz number, Ayala, who honed his skills in this genre, offers “Danzon Para Maria Cristina,” with trumpeter Yturvidez Vilches adding the authentic Puerto Rican danza sentiment.
The records ends with Ayala’s solo take of Coltrane’s “Giant Steps.” With this ambitious undertaking Ayala is making the statement that he has arrived and with Onward is taking his music to the next level.