For the Halloween edition of Saturday Jazz Caliente, I've sprinkled the playlist with music about a Peruvian/Bolivian devil, a Cuban spirit, and even one of Dracula's minions; specifically, his chauffeur. Here's some background:
"Son de lo Diablo" from trumpeter Gabriel Alegria's Afro Peruvian Sextet album Diablo en Brooklyn is based on a traditional "dance of the devils" celebrated in Peru and Bolivia. In fact, there's a dispute between the two countries about the origin of the dance, but its roots are in the indigenous population of the region. The ritual pre-dates colonial times and the designation of borders.
"El Guije" is a tune named for the mythological Cuban sprite of the rivers. He's said to be mischevious and playful, but never harmful. He likes to take travelers by surprise, and serves as the protector of the mountain forests and animals. We'll hear pianist Alfredo Rodriguez play "El Guije" with Esperanza Spalding on bass and sprite-ly vocals, from Alfredo's album The Invasion Parade.
"Dracula's Chauffeur" is a somewhat eerie romp through a Peruvian 12/8 rhythm called "festejo" mixed with a bit of straight-ahead jazz, courtesy of guitarist Richie Zellon and friends. It's on the Metal Caribe album.
Watch out for the ghosts, goblins and witches!
Jazz Caliente airs Saturdays at 5:00 p.m. The show is hosted by Robin Lloyd and produced by KNKX Public Radio.