Saturday, August 25, 2007

Jerry Gonzalez and the fort apache band - 1989 - Rumba para Monk

Rumba para Monk
Jerry Gonzalez was born in 1949 in the Bronx Borough of New York City. He grew up with Afro-Cuban and jazzmusic which left a deep impact on his musical appreciation and molding his future work as an artist. As a youth, Gonzalez would listen to his father’s jazz albums, incuding artists such Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker and Miles Davis.

While studying in junio high school, he began playing the trumpet and later the congas. Gonzalez completed his formal studies New York College of Music and New York University.

Legendary Latin artists such Mongo Santamaria, Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri were also important sources of musical inspiration. According to Gonzalez, “The spirit of mother Africa travelled to the Caribbean, South America, North America and ... our music is a reflection of our experience here in New York City and of our consciousness of the cultural roots”.
Known as a percussionist, Gonzalez began his professional career as a conga and trumpet player in 1970, performing his own brand of Latin jazz with the internationally famous, Dizzy Gillespie. With maestro Gillespie’s support and encouragement, Gonzalez was able to fuse the African based rhythms onto jazz elemets without compromising the essence of either. The next year, Gonzalez joined Eddie Palmieri’s band, “El Son” for a brief period before moving on to work with “Conjunto Libre”, the band led by great timbales artist, Manny Oquendo.

Here is one of his masterpiece, Rumba para Monk, recorded in 1989. This album earned the recognition from the French Academie du Jazz with the “Jazz Record of the Year” award. Enjoy! - d0za