Album Producer/ Tres; Percussion
I got the chance to catch up with famous tres player and salsa musician, Nelson Gonzalez, about his new album Del Caribe and asked him how he felt about his latest project. I could’ve chosen any other album to review but Del Caribe immediately caught my attention after hearing that it was recorded entirely live. “There’s no overdubbing and it’s completely spontaneous…like a gig they would record in old times,” says Gonzalez. After performing in 5 Grammy Award winning albums and being dubbed the Best Tres Player of the Year by Latin New York Magazine, I was excited to hear that in addition to playing tres and percussion on its songs, Nelson is also the album’s producer. According to Nelson, no one in the band agreed at first on recording the album live, but he asked them to give it a shot and see what could happen. He told them, “Make believe we have an audience of the best people in the world watching us”. His pep talk definitely paid off because the energy and authenticity of the album’s sound is truly unreal and infectious. Del Caribe receives 5 huge thumbs up and is the best, most exciting Latin jazz album out this year.
One of the reasons why the album has such a unique sound is the diversity of the band’s members. From Cuba, Puerto Rico, Vegas, New York, and San Francisco – the band traveled from all different places to create this record and had the perfect collaboration of different people. Perhaps the most interesting element that makes Del Caribe stand out from regular Latin Jazz is its instruments. Nelson’s performance on The Cuban Tres has an ostentatious sound that really is one-of-a-kind. Ironically, the Tres is the national instrument of Cuba which Gonzalez always finds humorous because he’s Puerto Rican.
One can tell that Del Caribe was created with so much passion and Gonzalez is extremely proud of the all-star band that came together for this record. “Everyone should make music to enhance your ears”, he says. In terms of future projects, Nelson plans to take music that’s already composed and give it another twist, but for now, he’d like to see where this recording takes him. “Everyone thinks they’re the greatest but this recording, I want it to be the best! I’ll let you decide if it’s the greatest.”
Will ai shape the future of the music industry?
As a fence-sitter who sees both sides of the great AI-in-music debate, I believe that AI should provide the tools to guide music direction–but never take over it.