The title of Cuban expatriate jazz pianist Alfredo Rodriguez's sophomore offering for Mack Avenue Records is inspired by an annual parade in the island city of Santiago that celebrates the nation's independence. On the follow-up to 2011's Sounds of Space, Rodriguez delves deeply into the sounds of his native land with an incendiary approach. Co-produced with Quincy Jones, his lineup for the set includes saxophonists Billy Carrion and Román Filiú, drummer/percussionist Henry Cole, vocalist/percussionist Pedrito Martinez, flutist Javier Porta, and alternating bassists Peter Slavov and Esperanza Spalding. Rodriguez is an exceptionally gifted pianist and arranger, and he delved deep into Cuba's vast musical variety from guajiro to Yoruban Santeria music, comparsas, timba, Caribbean folk, and, of course, Afro-Cuban jazz, and wound in a thoroughly modern, utterly enchanting mix of originals, folk songs, and classics. Standouts include his bold, dissonant, nearly political reading of "Guantanamera," the lithe "A Santa Bárbara," mold-breaking readings of standards such as "Quizás, Quizás, Quizás" and "Veinte Años" with bold rhythmic and harmonic extrapolations, and "Timberobot," a tough workout with flying arpeggios.
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AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek