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2004 MAVO Records

About "Forma Nueva"
"He leaves no doubt that he’s destined to play a role in the future of jazz. Valera shows a keen jazz vocabulary, a gift for creating grooves that invite stellar solo flights from his collaborators and the nerve to romance a melody when it suits him." --Philip van Vleck, Billboard

Forma Nueva

  • Pianist Manuel Valera’s self-produced recording debut as a leader showcases his impressive skills as a jazz instrumentalist and composer in a powerful program of original music interpreted by an all-star band that heralds the arrival of a notable talent in no uncertain terms. Born in Havana in October 1980, Valera lives in NYC where his gift for integrating stylistic elements of his homeland’s rich musical tradition into a modern post-bop context has earned him a prominent place at the forefront of jazz’s current generation of young lions.

    Forma Nueva features:
    Manuel Valera, piano
    Seamus Blake, saxophone
    John Patitucci, bass
    Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, drums
    Bill Stewart, drums

    "In the liner notes to Manuel Valera’s debut group recording, Forma Nueva , writer Howard Mandel states that “Valera is no iconoclastic revolutionary, rather an innovative developmentalist.” And, true enough, Valera doesn’t break any rules, but he does bend them, finding new ways to incorporate his Cuban roots in ways that are clear but never overstated or too in-your-face. His impressionism assures that he comes as much from a classical canonical background as he does from Bill Evans and, perhaps even more directly, Chick Corea. But while his roots are evident, he manages to emerge with a distinctive voice that sometimes displays the mind-numbing left hand/right hand independence of Brad Mehldau, other times the energetic modality of Richie Beirach."
    --John Kelman, All About Jazz
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