Alaín Pérez
Artist
Born in 1977 in Manaca, in Santi Spíritus province, he has written a new chapter in his country’s music history. At an early age, he learned about the deeply rooted cultural traditions of his homeland by listening to his grandfather sing balads and guarachas, he was always busy teaching the most important customs and traditions of his land. His first album was EN EL AIRE by the record label Ayva Musica (Barcelona, 2007). There Pérez totally exposed his abilities, dazzling his fans, from Cuba to Spain and beyond. Whether it is playing the electric bass, the keyboard or percussion, singing or contributing with compositions or arrangements, the combination of his inborn aptitudes and the improvement of his abilities have created the frame for a new revolution in contemporary Cuban music. Well known for his contributions as collaborator for the famous guitar player Paco de Lucía and the great Latin jazz musician Jerry González as well as for having produced albums for Celia Cruz and Habana Abierta, Pérez finally has the opportunity to shine for his own with his impressive mastery. As Enrique Morente says, one of the flamenco singers and composers best revered in Spain: “Alain Pérez is a wonderful discovery. He is going to make big impact. He is fabulous, magnificent.”

Alaín Pérez

Born in 1977 in Manaca, in Santi Spíritus province, he has written a new chapter in his country’s music history. At an early age, he learned about the deeply rooted cultural traditions of his homeland by listening to his grandfather sing balads and guarachas, he was always busy teaching the most important customs and traditions of his land.
His first album was EN EL AIRE by the record label Ayva Musica (Barcelona, 2007). There Pérez totally exposed his abilities, dazzling his fans, from Cuba to Spain and beyond.
Whether it is playing the electric bass, the keyboard or percussion, singing or contributing with compositions or arrangements, the combination of his inborn aptitudes and the improvement of his abilities have created the frame for a new revolution in contemporary Cuban music.
Well known for his contributions as collaborator for the famous guitar player Paco de Lucía and the great Latin jazz musician Jerry González as well as for having produced albums for Celia Cruz and Habana Abierta, Pérez finally has the opportunity to shine for his own with his impressive mastery. As Enrique Morente says, one of the flamenco singers and composers best revered in Spain:
“Alain Pérez is a wonderful discovery. He is going to make big impact. He is fabulous, magnificent.”

Alaín Pérez

Nacido en 1977 en Manaca, en la provincia de Sancti Spíritus, ha escrito un nuevo capítulo en la historia de la música de su país. Aprendió, a una edad muy temprana, las lecciones de las tan arraigadas tradiciones culturales de su tierra natal escuchando a su abuelo cantar tonadas y guarachas y siempre preocupado por enseñarle las costumbres y tradiciones más importantes de su tierra.
Su primer lanzamiento fue “En el aire” por el sello Ayva Música (Barcelona, 2007); allí Pérez expuso totalmente sus múltiples habilidades deslumbrando a sus fans, desde Cuba hasta España y más allá.
Ya sea tocando el bajo eléctrico, teclados o percusión, cantando o contribuyendo con composiciones y arreglos, la combinación de sus aptitudes innatas y el perfeccionamiento de sus habilidades han creado el marco para una nueva revolución en la música cubana contemporánea.
Muy conocido por sus contribuciones como colaborador del famoso guitarrista Paco de Lucía y del gran músico de Jazz Latino Jerry González, así como por haber producido álbumes de Celia Cruz y Habana Abierta, Pérez finalmente tiene la oportunidad de brillar por sí mismo con su impresionante maestría. Como dice Enrique Morente, uno de los cantantes y compositores de flamenco mas venerados de España: “Alain Pérez es un descubrimiento maravilloso. Provocará un gran impacto. Es fabuloso, magnífico”.

Albums

En el aire

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On “En El Aire”, Pérez returns to the style that captured his soul when he performed with Irakere. “I try to compose for my Muse, but when she doesn’t come, I search for colors and images that will suggest a certain path,” he comments. “Harmony is food for the melody, and as I am a rumbero, the end comes through the clave (the rhythm). Very humbly, I consider myself to be versatile, and life has given me proof that one has to be subservient to their instincts.”

His instincts are keen not only in his role as a composer and arranger but on the electric bass, an instrument in frequently heard as a primary solo voice on Latin jazz recordings. The album’s title track is an eye-opener. The horn section ignites a brazen unison attack, sketching the melody with fiery intensity while trap drummer Georvis Pico matches the energy with thunderous accents and crisp cymbal work. Pérez floats easily in the background, adding a thick undercurrent of harmonic counterpoint. When he solos, the instrument’s guitar persona takes over and his melodic, his technically daunting style reflecting the influence of Pastorius, Wooten, Stanley Clarke and other giants of the electric bass tradition. When trumpeter Carlos Sarduy enters for his solo, Pérez retreats, but not far; his intricate, undulating line adds yet another arresting sonic detail to the arrangement. The ballad “Descansa El Sol” (The Sun Rests) presents another side of Pérez’s personality as he basks in the melodic beauty of the piece, laying down a pensive, evocative solo while engaging in subtle interplay with saxophonist Inoidel Gonzáles and Javier Massó on Fender Rhodes.

The session features the talents of some of Cuba’s best young instrumentalists, including pianist Iván “Melón” González Lewis, known for his work with singer Issac Delgado and saxophonist Román Filiú. The tracks reflect traditions that were passed on to him by his family (“Sabor De Mi Rumba”) and the bold, vigorous attitude that defines the cutting edge of today’s Cuban jazz tradition and represents an extension of the stylistic path identified by Irakere three decades ago (Charlie Parker‘s “Donna Lee”). On “A Mi Abuelo Tata” (To My Grandfather Tata), he quotes in his bass solo the old Cuban folk tune “Guantanamera.” It is a particularly touching moment on a session packed with energy and innovation.

Interestingly, despite his flair for harmonically and rhythmically bold arrangements and his highly refined improvisational abilities, Pérez shies away from proclaiming allegiance to the jazz world. “I don’t consider myself a jazz musician,” he states frankly. “My sound is an extension of all of the time that I’ve been developing as an artist, and that includes many influences. Above all, I’m a Cuban musician.”

Recorded in Madrid, Spain. 2005

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Con “En El Aire”, Pérez regresa al mismo estilo que cautivó su alma cuando tocó con Irakere. “Trato de componer para mi musa, pero cuando ella no viene busco colores e imágenes que sugieran un camino seguro.” comenta. “La armonía es alimento para la melodía y, como rumbero que soy, el extremo viene a través de las claves. Muy humildemente me considero versátil y la vida me ha demostrado que uno tiene que estar al servicio de sus instintos.”

Sus instintos son agudos no solo en su rol como compositor y arreglista sino también con el bajo eléctrico, un instrumento que se suele escuchar como solista en las grabaciones de jazz latino. La canción que da título al álbum es una revelación. La sección del cuerno provoca un fresco ataque unísono, esbozando la melodía con una fiera intensidad mientras el baterista Georvis Pico iguala la energía con un acento estruendoso y un seco toque de platillos. Pérez flota con facilidad en el fondo añadiendo un fuerte trasfondo de armónico contrapunto. Cuando toca solo su guitarra se apodera, y su melodía, su técnica con estilo intimidante refleja la influencia de Patorius, Wooten, Stanley Clarke y otros gigantes del bajo eléctrico.

Cuando el trompetista Carlos Sarduy entra con su solo Pérez se retira, pero no lejos, su línea intrincada y ondulante aporta otro adetalle sónico al arreglo. La balada “Descansa el sol” presenta otra faceta de la personalidad de Pérez y él se delita en la melódica belleza de la pieza, colocando un solo pensativo y evocativo mientras se adentra en una interacción sutil con el saxofonista Inoidel Gonzáles y Javier Massó en Fender Rhones.

La sección presenta los talentos de algunos de los más jóvenes instrumentalistas cubanos, incluyendo el pianista Iván “Melón” Gonzáles Lewis, conocido por su trabajo con el cantante Issac Delgado y el saxofonista Román Filiú. Las pistas presentan tradiciones que fueron heredadas de su familia (“Sabor de mi Rumba”) y la actitud vigorosa que define la innovación de la tradición actual del jazz cubano y representa una extensión del sendero estilístico marcado por Irakere hace tres décadas (“Donna Lee” de Charlie Parker). En “A mi abuelo Tata” él cita en su solo de bajo la canción popular cubana “Guantanamera”. Es un momento especial en una sección cargada de energía e innovación.

Interesantemente, a pesar de su facilidad para los arreglos de armónica y rítmicamente enérgicos y sus refinadas habilidades para improvisar, Pérez rehúye a proclamar lealtad al mundo del jazz: “Yo no me considero un jazzista”, dice, “Mi sonido es una extensión de todo el tiempo en que me he desarrollado como artista, y eso incluye muchas influencias. Ante todo, soy un músico cubano”.

Grabado en Madrid, España, 2005.

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Hablando con Juana

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“On the summer of 1994 I participated as a lecturer in some workshops on Latin Jazz and Afrocuban Jazz. Back then at the ENA (National School of Arts) I listened to some young students who really impressed me, among them Alain Pérez, a big instrumentalist talent, I also heard him sing and so decided to include him in my band IRAKERE. That was his professional debut, later on he joined other successful bands, when I recorded my first CD for Blue Note: BeleBele en la Habana, he was my bass player in all recording sessions. Probably one of my best CDs.

His career took a peek as a flamenco bass player

Paco de Lucía

Now as a solist he has recorded a disk full of energy and colours, where he shows his qualities as composer, arranger and singer from whom I expect big success”.

Chucho Valdés

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“En el verano del año 1994 participé como profesor en unos talleres sobre el Jazz Latino y Jazz Afrocubano. En aquellos momentos en la ENA escuché a algunos jóvenes estudiantes que me impresionaron mucho, entre ellos a Alain Pérez, un talento increíble como instrumentista, además lo escuché cantar y decidí integrarlo a mi banda IRAKERE. Ese fue su comienzo profesional, después pasó por otras buenas orquestas con éxito, cuando grabé mi primer disco para Blue Note: Bele Bele en La Habana, fue mi bajista en todas las sesiones de grabación. Quizás uno de mis mejores discos.

Su carrera se elevó al máximo como bajista del genio Flamenco Paco de Lucía.

Ahora en su proyecto como solista ha grabado un disco lleno de energía y colores, donde muestra sus cualidades como compositor, arreglista y cantante del cual se espera un gran éxito”.

Chucho Valdés

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News

Alaín Pérez nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards 2017
Cuba de fiesta: Alain Pérez nominado a los Latin Grammy Awards 2017
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Noticias

Alaín Pérez nominated to the Latin Grammy Awards 2017
Cuba de fiesta: Alain Pérez nominado a los Latin Grammy Awards 2017
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