3 October 2008
JORGE DALTO - CHEVERE
Jorge Dalto for United Artists from 1976.
Jorge Dalto-Fender Rhodes,Acoustic Piano,Clavinet,ARP,Minimoog;Bernard Purdie-Drums;Carlos Martin-Congas;Rahsan Jemmott-Bass;Ronnie Foster-Minimoog;Tom Malone-Trombone;Sheldon Powell-Tenor;Jerry Dodgion-Alto,Flute;Ernie Royal,Victor Paz-Trumpet;Tony Jiminez-Percussion;Adela,Ruben Blades,Jorge Dalto-Vocals.
Produced by Teddy Reig
From the sleeve notes:
"If you are a Latin you will already know what the title means.If not ask a latin and he will tell you "Chevere" is latin hip for groovey...among other things.
Whether you know what chevere means or not is really immaterial to the music.It's contemporary.Very much to the kind of jazz flavoured instrumental sound that has grown in popularity over the past year...with one very important difference.The music is from Dalto.And this means the sounds are very musical and very exciting.What you have in this album is a bright,fresh and musical use of electronic keyboard instruments in combination with voices,horns and driving latin percussion.
Dalto arranged all eight tunes on the album,wrote all but three and plays multiple keyboards on just about every track.Those keyboards are :Fender Rhodes,Acoustic Piano,Clavinet,ARP String Ensemble,Minimoog and Satelite Synthesizers."
[That list alone should have all the rhodes and moog freaks frothing at the mouth!]
The lp is very much ,as the title description suggests,of the times.In 1976 Dalto was playing keyboards for George Benson with Ronnie Foster and I guess this album was Jorge's stab at commercial success for himself.It wasn't a great seller-too heavily latin for the easy jazz listeners,too crossover for the latino market- although the gorgeous "I've Got You On My Mind" was a minor hit at the time,and as an lp this was doomed to be relegated to the cut out/used bins where it has languished ever since with no reissues in any form-even from Japan!
The Clavinet is the name of the game here,squelching and squeezing the rhythm forward along with Pretty Purdie's insistent disco high hat which slices through a constant rippling carpet of congas and percussion.Soloing over the top come waves of ARPs,Minimoogs and Fender Rhodes played by Dalto and Foster finished off with a creamy froth of vocal harmonies.Most of the cuts spin off into a discofied latin jam style -check out the club banger "Time For Some Changes " - what a tune!I remember Chris Bangs dropping this in the early 80s while I danced across the floor to it like a total arse-well,I was always off my tits in those days so that's my excuse!
The Dalto penned "For Openers" and "Theme in Berlin" take a similar intro/jamming route while "I Only Care For You" and the previously mentioned "On my Mind" are both lovely ballads.
There's also a nice,swinging version of "Dolphin Dance" replete with doo doo doo doo vocals and horn section plus funky takes on "Love For Sale" (Cole Porter would be spinning in his grave if he heard this rendition)and "Stella By Starlight".
So this is my attempt to rescue Chevere from the dusty bins of history-as Dusty Groove so succinctly put it:An excellent album of mellow spacey Latin fusion!
Plus imo a liberal sprinkling of disco dust!
Here's a bio about Jorge from AllAboutJazz:
Jorge Dalto - piano, keyboards (1948 - 1987)
Jorge Dalto was an Argentine-born jazz pianist whose version of ''This Masquerade'' with the guitarist George Benson won a Grammy Award in 1976, he was the pianist arranger on Benson’s mega album “Breezin.’” Dalto was one of the principal keyboardists in the fusion movement of the era.
Jorge Dalto was born July 7, 1948, in Jorge Perez, Argentina. He studied piano in his home country and came to the United States in 1969. In 1973, he settled in New York, playing with Latin jazz groups such as Tito Puente's and the Machito Orchestra. He was the featured pianist on Dizzy Gillespie’s “Afro-Cuban Moods,” in 1975.
Shortly afterward, he became a member of his fellow countryman Gato Barbieri's group, and got involved in the mid-1970's fusion movement, which mixed jazz and rock. He appeared on albums of the period with artists as; Flora Purim, Spyro Gyra, Paquito D’ Rivera, Djaban, Eddie Daniels, Carmen McRae, Rubén Blades among others.
During the ‘80’s he was the leader of the InterAmerican Band which featured his wife Adela on vocals. He was also the pianist/arranger for the Percussion Jazz Ensemble consisting of top tier Latin musicians including timbale player Tito Puente, conga player Carlos “Patato” Valdes and violinist Alfredo De La Fe.
He released several excellent albums as pianist/arranger with an all star cast of musicians he called Super Friends. These included sax man David Sanborn, guitarists George Benson, and Eric Gale, with Steve Gadd and Buddy Williams as drummers, among others. This was just a partial lineup on the album “Rendevous” released in 1983.
In 1985 he put out “Urban Oasis,” with his InterAmerican Band, an excellent session emphasizing his strong latin roots and mastery of the genre.
A “Solo Piano,” was released in 1990, and “New York Nightlife” came out in 2007. These were reissues from albums that unfortunately did not have a wide release or market at the time of his death. His appreciation and prominence as an excellent Latin jazz pianist has only grown through the years.