David Virelles | Constellation | International | Chicago Reader

David Virelles Recommended 18+ Soundboard Image

When: Wed., Jan. 27, 8:30 p.m. 2016

Cuban pianist David Virelles is a master of musical transformation. On his 2014 album Mbókò (ECM) he continues to reimagine the ritual Abakua music from his homeland, and in many cases he converts the groove-heavy source material into something more brooding, both in its introspection and its lyric turmoil. A key player in his music is the great percussionist Ramón Díaz, who here adds spooky chants and plays the biankomeko—a four-drum setup that resides at the core of Abakua music—alongside kit drumming by Marcus Gilmore. Top-flight bassists Thomas Morgan and Robert Hurst are in the middle of it all, delivering mahogany drones and only occasionally pitching in with melodic counterpoint. The improvised music world has taken notice of Virelles as he’s been working with bands led by Ravi Coltrane and Chris Potter—with whom he appears next week at the Jazz Showcase. At last year’s Hyde Park Jazz Festival he played a gorgeous, meditative duo concert with Henry Threadgill. Tonight he presents a newer project with drummer Damion Reid called Ideogramas, which features abstract video work that includes drawings from Virelles-inspired “ritualistic graphic expressions.”

Peter Margasak

Price: $10

Add a review


Select a star to rate.