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About Hector Martignon
In an exciting program of 6 Martignon originals and 4 North and South American standards, Martignon confirms his eminent position as one of the most sought-after pianists on the Latin jazz scene. He's toured with Mongo Santamara, Gato Barbieri, Steve Turre, Tito Puente, Mario Bauz, Chico O'Farrill, Paquito D'Rivera, and Max Roach.
Martignon's first ZOHO release Refugee (ZM 200705) from 2007 was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2008. Martignon was also for eight years pianist for ZOHO artist Ray Barretto in the 1990s. His last collaboration with Barretto, My Summertime, was also nominated for a GRAMMY award.
Hector Martignon on Second Chance
When thinking of second chances, many memories come to haunt us and remind us of all kinds of half-finished business, failed projects, unrequited loves, wrong expectations of one's ability to fulfill a promise... but isn't there another side to the coin with which we trade the second chances that come our way: the ones we concede to other people, projects, opportunities; the same way we recognize and embrace second chances given to us, with that same open mind and hope we should allow someone, or something, that longed-for second chance.
Some of the tracks contained in this album are second chances. These are renditions that reflect an evolved approach to melodies and arrangements already done by me in years past. I wrote and recorded 'Guaji-Rita' in the 90s with the late Ray Barretto's band, 'New World Spririt,' after a friend of the band, Rita, suffered a car accident; I hope Rita, as well as Ray, enjoy this version wherever they might be.
For my second solo album, Foreign Affair, I recorded 'She Said She Was From Sarajevo' inspired by a victim of the Bosnian war who was working at a garment store right across the World Trade Center in New York City. I now wonder how she experienced 9/11! I learned some of the rhythms used in this tune on one of my visits to Yugoslavia.
'Coqueteos' is a hellish tune from the Colombian highlands, where I am from, and in this, my second rendition, I turned it, into a Joropo, with the help of two of my New York based fellow countrymen, virtuoso harpist Edmar Castaeda and percussionist extraordinaire Samuel Torres. This song is also another Foreign Affair veteran.
As a kid I watched six times the wonderful, and politically very incorrect movie Hatari. The elegant and sensual score, written by Henry Mancini, enchanted and seduced me. Decades later, during my stint with Don Byron's Music for Six Musicians I again fell in love with the title theme, 'Hatari,' the way only Don could play it. Here is my second chance for this tune. While on tour in Chile this January, I was lucky to meet one of my idols of Brazilian music, Joao Bosco.
Although I love and play most of his music, I find 'Bala Con Bala' (vocally a tongue-breaker) instrumentally the most appropriate vehicle for improvisation. Almost all members of the band solo here. Obrigado Joao!
'Andrea' is my homage to my very first mentor in music, my brother Andrea, who I hope will hear this, and all my music, from high above. The rhythm plays with subdivisions of 12 with a 6/8 background. I learned so much from listening to Don Grolnick that I learned that 'Alone Together' was a ballad only long after having played the tune in a devilish fast tempo, the same way he did. To make it even more outlandish, I added a heavy montuno at the end for Samuel to get loose. I loved my mother-in-law, Elvia, and for her I wrote 'A Long Farewell' in the last months of her life. Madre, espero que le guste!!!
And then 'Second Chance' which I wrote for my wife Amparo (and she knows why) for all the second chances we have given and received. More than the title of a tune or a record, or all the things that conspired in bringing this musical offering to fruition, this is the story of second chances past and future. I will be thankful every time anew!