If you are a percussionist, then leading a latin fusion band and covering Michael Jackson songs seems to be a thing. Some months ago I posted about Miami-based Peruvian-American musician, composer, arranger and producer Tony Succar. His project Unity brought together latin music artists to record an album of Jackson’s songs, rewritten as salsa.
Today I discovered another percussionist, Jorge Pérez, doing something similar. But he’s adding other ingredients -like flamenco- to the mix.
Born in Boston, this Spanish musician and composer is based in Madrid and has played with many professional bands and artists. He attended the Berklee College of music and travelled several times to Cuba to learn percussion directly from the sources of Afro-Cuban music. He also at some point found the time to study architecture.
His band Patax takes famous pop music songs, especially Michael Jackson’s, deconstructs them and then adds some fusion jazz, a little flamenco and even some rap. Like anything that has flamenco and jazz incorporated into it, songs necessarily end up much more rythmically complex. I love these experiments.
These two videos are from a live 2015 recording of their album “A Night To Remember” at the Teatro Calderón in Madrid. Apart from this album of covers, the band has three other albums with original songs.
Excellent musicians and a refreshing combination of musical genres. Here’s Billie Jean with “cante jondo” included:
Madonna’s Like A Prayer, combining flamenco, jazz and salsa:
An original Patax song…a very interesting experiment:
Michael Jackson’s Smooth Criminal:
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