"Without music, life would be a mistake." - Friedrich Nietzsche

Chano Domínguez

Meanwhile there is a growing number of projects which not only stress the similarities but which offer a more balanced view on the contributions of both cultures. Chano Dominguez and Vince Mendoza: Their names alone nip reservations and fear of yet another musical platitude originating from the varied pool of folklore in the bud.
When it comes to music, the Spaniard, who was born in the flamenco-stronghold Cadiz, is bilingual: Dominguez is fluent in both languages, that of jazz as well as that of flamenco (an art form where the piano is anything but at home). Already for quite some time he is a leading figure in bringing together both cultures, even more than that: Dominguez is currently the driving force of this symbiosis and the one who delivers the most convincing results.
~~Vince Mendoza could make good use of his Jazzpaña-experience for another engagement with Iberian culture. El Viento. The García Lorca Project was the title of a production recorded in 2008, whose foundation was laid ten years before during a concert on the occasion of the one-hundredths birthday of the lyricist Federico García Lorca. Spanish vocalists and instrumentalists as well as dancers had guest appearances in this project, invited by the Dutch Metropole Orkest, an orchestra combining big band and stringband-elements in one.
One year later Dominguez made use of the 50th anniversary of Miles Davis' recording of Kind of Blue to produce a flamencojazz-version of the legendary album, consistently entitled: Flamenco Sketches. Finally, in 2011 he was united with the creative minds behind the idea of the grand intercultural building of bridges almost two decades earlier: Vince Mendoza and the WDR Big Band.
This time the pianist's own compositions, arranged by the guest conductor of the orchestra, were performed. The improvisatory aspect was also more pronounced than in Jazzpaña. The Spaniard was joined by three compatriots, the percussionists "El Piraña" Suárez and Daniel Navarro (the latter also a dancer) and the singer Blas Córdoba. The success of Soleando – well documented on the present recording from the Cologne philharmonic hall – demanded a follow-up: In 2013 the pianist, Grupo de Chano Dominguez, Vince Mendoza and the WDR Big Band went on a celebrated tour of Spain, Portugal, and Oman and also fitted in a stop-over at the Leverkusener Jazztage.

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Gerardo Núñez / Ulf Wakenius