Drummer/percussionist and composer Juan Pastor finds himself caught between two homes: his native Lima, Peru, and the city where he has lived for the past 13 years, Chicago. As a result, both his original compositions and the sound of his ensemble, Chinchano, draw life from deep sources - Peru’s enchantingly diverse culture, history, landscapes, and folk music, and the language of North American Jazz. Pastor evokes his multifaceted story poignantly on his new recording, El Regreso (Quinto Pulso, 2019).
Pastor begins his story with a lively arrangement of Wilfredo Franco Laguna's Mayoral, the album’s sole cover and a beloved Peruvian song, whose lyrics call out the oppressive racism of Spanish colonialism. Juan’s drums animate the arrangement with a powerful Afro-Peruvian “Festejo” dance rhythm, and special guest percussionists Makarito Nicasio and Edu Campos (both members of the acclaimed ensemble Peru Negro) join the rhythm section.
In addition to energetically guiding Chinchano from the drums, Pastor’s original compositions highlight his skill as a musical storyteller. Callejón evokes a forgotten time in Old Lima, when neighbors would gather in the alleys to draw water from communal fountains. In a parallel fashion, the ensemble gathers together musically, drawing inspiration and creativity from each other, while guest percussionist Freddy “Huevito” Lobatón’s spoken verse illustrates the narrative. Supported by Pastor’s driving polyrhythms, guest saxophonist Miguel Zenón (MacArthur and Guggenheim fellow) takes a fiery solo. “We’re delighted to feature Miguel on three tracks,” explains Pastor, “his music and creative voice has always been an inspiration for us.”
Harmonically-open and rhythmically-rich, Pastor’s Roma is a dynamic tale of love, and features passionate solos from alto saxophonist Rich Moore, guest guitarist Matt Gold, and Pastor himself. Equally dynamic is the album’s title track, Pastor’s El Regreso (The Return), which is aptly named, as it illustrates Juan’s emotional experience returning to Lima in 2018, and returning to Chicago almost a year later.
In addition to Pastor’s originals, the album features several compositions by both pianist Stu Mindeman and bassist Patrick Mulcahy. “Chinchano is in many ways a communal effort,” describes Pastor, “Stu’s and Patrick’s creative input and original contributions are essential to the group sound.” Mindeman’s Tres Chullos explores lively folk rhythms from the Peruvian Andes, including “Huayno” and “Saya,” while his Resistencia features another soaring solo by Zenón, propelled by the churning groove of guest percussionist Gigio Parodi (principal cajónist with Eva Ayllón). Mulcahy was inspired by the waltzes of beloved Peruvian singer Arturo “Zambo” Cavero to compose Exuberancia del Niño, featuring the expressive trumpet of Tito Carillo. San Isidro, a lovely “Candombe”, also from Mulcahy, evokes the misty, coastal neighborhoods of Lima with an eloquently lyrical solo from trumpeter Marquis Hill.
Chinchano owes its uniquely impassioned sound to Juan Pastor’s life experience, caught between two worlds, leaving and returning to both. The nostalgic Peruvian melodies and electrifying South American percussion rhythms blend beautifully with the North American Jazz harmonies and Chicago blues aesthetic, and once again, Juan Pastor proves he has a captivating story to tell.
released July 28, 2019
Juan Pastor - percussion, drums and cymbals || Stu Mindeman - piano and organ || Patrick Mulcahy - bass || Rich Moore - alto saxophone || Tito Carrillo - trumpet || Marquis Hill - trumpet (tracks 4, 6, 11)
Special Guests: Miguel Zenón - alto saxophone (tracks 4, 6, 11) || Matt Gold - electric guitar (track 7) || Marquitos Mosquera - congas, cowbell, quijada (track 9) || Jhair Sala - congas, cowbell, djembe (track 11) || Makarito Nicasio - cajon, quijada (track 1) || Edu Campos Dueñas - congas, cowbell, djembe, cajita (track 1) || Leonardo "Gigio" Parodi Cisneros - congas, cajon, batajon, cajita, quijada (track 6) || Freddy Huevito Lobatón Beltrán - cajon, guapeo, spoken word (track 4) || Mario Cuba - bass (track 9) || Marco Campos - guapeo (track 6)
Tracks 4, 7, 9 composed by Juan Pastor
Tracks 2, 6, 8 composed by Stu Mindeman
Tracks 3, 5, 10, 11, 12 composed by Patrick Mulcahy
Track 1 composed by Wilfredo Franco Laguna, arranged by Juan Pastor and Edward Pérez
Recorded at Transient Sounds, Chicago IL, USA. Engineered by Vijay Tellis-Nayak
Percussion Overdubs recorded at Mercury Recording Studio, Rahway NJ, USA. Elías Ponce Estudios, Dragon Verde Producciones, EOG, Lima-Perú
Mixed by Brian Schwab, Mastered by Anthony Gravino
Pre-production by Paul Mutzabaugh and Juan Daniel Pastor
Produced by Juan Daniel Pastor and Stu Mindeman
Cover and insert Art by Antonio Boniceli
CD design by Natalia Rios
CHINCHANO is Juan Pastor's modern instrumental jazz group that fuses the traditional North American jazz harmonic palette
with exciting rhythmic concepts drawn from Central and South America. This distinct sonic brand is revealed through not only the original compositions, but also in the unique drums/percussion setup that Juan brings to both the recording and to the live concerts....more