“TERRY GROSS, HOST:
This is FRESH AIR. Our jazz critic Kevin Whitehead has the review of a new recording by pianist Aruan Ortiz, who grew up in Cuba and lived in Spain a few years before moving to the U.S. in 2002. Musicians he’s worked and recorded with since then include Esperanza Spalding, Wallace Roney, Greg Osby and Steve Turre. Kevin says Ortiz’s new trio music is fully bilingual.
(SOUNDBITE OF ARUAN ORTIZ TRIO ALBUM, “HIDDEN VOICES”)
KEVIN WHITEHEAD: Aruan Ortiz with a little typical misdirection. He starts like he’s going to play a stately Cuban song, and then slowly everything slides a little sideways. That’s Ortiz’s new album “Hidden Voices” in a nutshell, with its offbeat recombinations of Cuban strains and modern jazz.
Those traditions have always been compatible, but there was a time when musicians from each stream could sound unsteady stepping into the other. Nowadays, there are many more musicians like Aruan Ortiz at home in both worlds.“