Guillermo Klein's 2008 Cuchi Concert (Live!)
Before Guillermo Klein's Domador de Huellas: Music of Cuchi Leguizamón was a studio album (out today!), it was a commission for the Buenos Aires International Jazz Festival in October 2008. That year was the first for pianist Adrian Iaies as the festival's artistic director, and he immediately proved his worth by asking Guillermo to tackle the legacy of el Cuchi. Guillermo didn't so much recreate el Cuchi's music as inhabit it, tossing aside doting reverence for what the old master deserved: serious analysis, engagement, and reinvention.
I wasn't at the 2008 concert and neither were you; but thanks to Fer Isella—the producer/composer/pianist/electronics-jockey behind Limbo Music (which co-released Domador)—videos, sheet music, and the full audio from the concert are up online. You can check it out at homenajealcuchi.com. The site is in Spanish, but even the most Anglo-exclusive readers shouldn't have a problem navigating. Just click Extras" on the title bar, and then enter elcuchi" in the contraseña" (password) box. Bam! You've hit the motherlode.
The new album is certainly more refined and richly detailed than the concert—you won't find that Reichian introduction to Coplas del Regreso," for instance—but the live recordings give off the sense of extraordinary celebration. This was Cuchi's long-delayed jazz funeral, and the applause feel cathartic even as they're joyful. I don't think it's a coincidence that Guillermo moved back to Buenos Aires eight months after this show.