CHICO & RITA

ANIMATED LATIN JAZZ (WAS IT EVER ANYTHING ELSE?)

The music of Dizzy Gillespie, Thelonious Monk, Charlie Parker, Ben Webster, Nat Cole and others illuminates the soundtrack and action of the Hispanic cartoon romance Chico & Rita, which began showing in UK cinemas in late November.

Chico & Rita is set in Cuba, the US and France in the late 40s and early 50s. Director Tono Errando says of the period: “In music it’s a moment that’s fantastic: it’s the moment where Cuban musicians go to New York and join the Anglo Saxon jazz musicians. This fusion changed the music at that time.”

Among those playing the music of the above-mentioned greats on the soundtrack are Freddy Cole (as Nat Cole), Jimmy Heath (as Webster), Michael Phillip Mossman (as Gillespie) and German Velazco (as Parker).

The general musical score is by Cuban composer Bebo Valdes, who recorded with Norman Granz in the 50s, left Cuba in 1960 and enjoyed a career revival after being rediscovered playing piano in a Stockholm restaurant in the 1990s.

More at www.chicoandrita.co.uk.

dizzy_gillespie_as_depicted_in_chico__rita_512
Dizzy Gillespie as depicted in Chico & Rita


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