Gonzalo Grau & La Clave Secreta, De Verdad Verdad Review
For Real: The Sonic Voyage of Gonzalo Grau & La Clave Secreta
In the grand spectrum of musicality influenced by a world perspective, Gonzalo Grau & La Clave Secreta’s De Verdad Verdad shines as a beacon of passion and authentic musicianship. This thirteen-song album, translated as “For Real,” takes listeners on a voyage of musical exploration that invites us to partake in a journey of exploration and tradition firmly grounded in real-time, live music-making.
The recording process of De Verdad Verdad is our first point of discovery into the band’s united spirit, ethos, and deep-rooted camaraderie. Eschewing traditional recording protocols, the band members gathered in a single space, positioned in a close-knit circle with no physical or metaphorical barriers separating them. This daring choice of recording ‘live,’ as they might perform on stage, reflects their collective commitment to genuine musicianship. It’s a truthful, ‘for real’ portrayal of their unified energy and the life they breathe into meticulously crafted arrangements and compositions.
Conceptually, this album reinforces its grounding in tradition yet refuses to be confined by it. As a salsa album, it revels in timba hues and drinks from a wellspring of global influences—flamenco, Greek traditions, hip-hop, and jazz—seamlessly woven into its musical fabric. Grau’s composition and arranging skills prove to be an exceptional vehicle for this expression, showcasing a keen ability to explore an array of musical territories while still maintaining the band’s core identity.
Each track offers world music lovers an immersive experience of the rich vibrations of Latin music. Starting with “Comando Z,” we find a showcase of rhythmic and performance diversity traversed with vocal expertise. Manolo Mairena’s lucid vocal delivery blends perfectly with the driving percussive underpinning and the engaging brass section, creating a vibrant sonic palette.
Tracks like “La Ruñidera” and “Las Cajas” emphasize Grau’s genius in creating spaces for individual expression, fusing it seamlessly with collective infectious rhythms and seamless instrumental exchanges. In the band’s rendition of Stevie Wonder’s “Don’t You Worry’ Bout a Thing,” the fusion of Latin rhythm and classic R&B demonstrates Grau’s inventiveness in reinterpreting known material, offering listeners a refreshing, familiar, yet distinct world music auditory journey.
“Moros y Cristianos” and “Buscando la Melodía” are other examples of the ensemble’s musical versatility, showcasing the fluid integration of flamenco traditions and the talent of Jeremy Bosch’s flute, respectively. These tracks highlight Grau’s compositional strengths in crafting a narrative that spans various feels and ensemble textures and demonstrate his ability to craft an auditory journey that’s charismatic and retaining.
De Verdad Verdad is a unique experience, an invitation to engage with the raw, unfiltered essence of an ensemble genuinely connected and committed to their craft. It’s a homage to the ‘for real’ friendships that bind the members, the ‘for real’ music they create, and the ‘for real’ joy they bring to their listeners. It’s a courageous demonstration of musical versatility, the power of authenticity, and a masterful balance of truth and tradition that invites us, time and time again, to listen, enjoy, and feel — for real. That’s the short of it!
Connect with Gonzalo Grau & La Clave Secreta: Website |
De Verdad Verdad
May 15, 2023