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Label: DLT Creative Productions LLC
(01) Bop Bop Bop Bop (02) Dulce y Caliente (03) Luna (04) Tres Mañanas (05) El Sudor (06) Oya's Funk (07) Turrón (08) ¡Coño! (But With A Swing) (09) Resuelve (10) Monedas (11) Baile Cubano
Composed, performed and produced by Deborah De La Torre, pianist With: Ron Bland (bass) and Thomas A. Blomster (percussion) And: Patricia Surman (flute), Randy Runyan (trumpet), Dave DeMichelis (electric guitar) and Rodney Farrar (cello)
Rules about jazz scales (shredded), Latin rhythms (thrashed), and chords (change ‘em fast, change ‘em often) are obviously meant to be broken in Deborah De La Torre’s debut instrumental album, ¡Coño! (But With A Swing). Blending genres, meters and Latinx regional influences in sharp and edgy ways, her aggressive and solid piano playing demonstrates an assertive command of the instrument, granting her the well-deserved nickname “La Cocodrila” (the Lady Crocodile). There is plenty of technical and arranging skill to be heard throughout the music, ranging from a traditional American/Latinx bop dissolving into a thoughtful Cool Jazz ending, to some Cuban mini-big-band band arrangements, and a few Classical/Jazz/Latin- American/Spanish/Caribbean-style songs that show off her virtuosity while composing “on the hyphen.” ¡Coño! (But With A Swing) has something for the traditional, the modern, the avant-garde and the everyday Latin Jazz aficionado. Dancers will also find plenty to creatively “mood with or groove with” in this album, particularly “El Sudor” (the Sweat). Her album title’s first word means “Damn!” in Cuban Spanish, a word you might say as you try to dance to some of the tunes when the rhythm breaks your ankles. Interesting bass solos performed by Ron Bland are perfectly matched by the impressive drumming of Thomas A. Blomster. Together with these performers and others, a laid-back beach vibe in “Tres Mañanas” (Three Tomorrows) is interrupted by crazy scales (ice clinking in your tropical drink? shrieking seagulls?), and a surprise electric guitar solo in the middle of “Oya’s Funk” soars over a 12-bar blues line. She salutes the golden age of Hispanic music (ca. 1940-50s) with “Monedas,” (Coins) which will no doubt see many future lives in the world of synch rights, and offers her fans a two-minute rainy-day reflection in the piano solo “Luna” (Moon). ¡Coño! (But With A Swing) kicks-off La Cocodrila’s appearance as a unique Latin Jazz pianist/composer with talent but mostly plenty of nerve (she is 54). If this is what she begins with, one can only guess what else is lurking beneath the musical waters of her imagination as she plans her next one. www.lacocodrila.com