Jerry Gonzalez has referred to himself as being "bilingual" in that he is equally skilled on trumpet and congas, in bebop and in Latin music. Gonzalez succeeds in his goal of combining the two idioms without watering down either style on this essential Sunnyside CD. The first Afro-Cuban Thelonious Monk tribute has plenty of spots for the percussion of Steve Berrios and Gonzalez, but also contains many strong solos from the leader's often-muted Miles-influenced trumpet, Carter Jefferson's tenor, and Larry Willis' very un-Monk-like piano. With the exception of "Ugly Beauty," the Latin percussion is an integral part of each performance, giving this set of Monk tunes a very different perspective that is also quite flexible. A highly enjoyable set with the highlights including "Bye-Ya," "Nutty," "Little Rootie Tootie," and "Jackie-ing."
Delia Gonzalez composed Horse Follows Darkness after she and her eight-year-old son moved back to America after spending some time in Berlin. She states that America suddenly felt like a foreign country to her, and equates it with exploring the Wild West, additionally citing Western films as an influence on the album. Coming two years after In Remembrance, an album of solo piano works based on 16mm ballet dance films, Horse Follows Darkness also seems to be a return to the kosmische and avant-disco sounds Gonzalez was known for during the 2000s, when she collaborated with Gavin Russom (both under their own names and as part of Black Leotard Front).
Gonzalez was a loosely knit, British-based aggregate with a revolving-door membership of anywhere from 10 to 30 players. Their specialty was a mostly instrumental melange of funk, jazz, soul, and (later) disco, though they did employ vocalists for selected tracks on most of their albums.
British funk - soul - disco band. Formed in 1973 by The Gass members, Bobby Tench and Godfrey McLean. They are best known for their disco stormer Gloria Jones penned, "Haven't Stopped Dancing Yet". They released five albums, before disbanding in 1986, after Roy Davis death.
The most jazz-oriented of the elderly musicians in the Buena Vista Social Club, pianist Ruben Gonzalez was 77 at the time of this CD, his debut as a leader. Although he did not even own his own piano at the time, he plays brilliantly, performing a variety of traditional melodies plus two originals, often quoting other songs and really stretching himself. His chord voicings are distinctive and very inviting, his control of the piano is quite impressive, and the music sings its heart out. The CD was recorded spontaneously over a two-day period with Gonzalez mostly being the lead voice, assisted by trumpeter Manuel Mirabal (who has some fine solos), bassist Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, several percussionists, and occasionally three background singers. This set is impossible not to love.