Trumpeter/percussionist Jerry Gonzalez
is best known for playing Afro-Cuban jazz and leading the Fort Apache Band
. In the early 21st century he lived in Spain and was among the first players to explore fusing together jazz with flamenco music. The innovative new music and his appearance in the film Calle 54 made him a celebrity in Spain and led to a great deal of work. This set was initially released in Europe in 2002 before it came out in the United States two years later. Gonzalez
's trumpet teams up with Nino Josele
's flamenco guitar on most of the selections and in general, the mixture works. The unusual rhythmic music is fairly accessible, flamenco renditions of Charlie Parker
's "Donna Lee" (renamed "Donnali") and "Monk's Soniquete" ("Monk's Dream"), which has Gonzalez
overdubbing several trumpets. There are some slow moments (particularly the overlong percussion duet "Al Abordaje"), and Diego El Cigala
's two exotic vocals (especially on "Gitanos de la Cava") may take some getting used to, but overall this is intriguing music.