Alec Dankworth: Spanish Accents

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Alec Dankworth
LABELS: Basho
ALBUM TITLE: Alec Dankworth
WORKS: Spanish Accents
PERFORMER: Alec Dankworth (bass), Julian Argüelles (saxophone), Christian Garrick (violin), Phil Robson (guitar), Jean-Pierre Rasle (bagpipes), Marc Miralta (drums), Cleo Laine, Emily Dankworth (vocals)
CATALOGUE NO: SRCD-21-2

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A commendable idea which very nearly comes off, this is an attempt by bassist Alec Dankworth to import Spanish influences into jazz in genuinely meaningful ways – some more obvious than others. There’s Rodrigo-via-Miles and there’s a rhumba here and a salsa there which look to the country’s colonial past, but there are also some interesting crossbred originals and arrangements by the leader which place flamenco and traditional Spanish vocal music within a jazz framework, although the music tends to defer to its origins more often than it attempts to reshape them. Ironically, this adds a degree of tentativeness that makes the results good rather than excellent. Roger Thomas