"Victor Noriega's second release 'Alay' rises way above most of today's jazz recordings with a unique concept and expert craftsmanship. By introducing Filipino songs into a jazz context, Noriega pushes the jazz envelope and follows tradition at the same time. He is clearly an artist to watch." --Gordon Todd / KBCS
Victor Noriega’s inventive stylings of selected Filipino songs in his new album, ALAY, pay homage to both the music of Victor’s heritage and the American jazz tradition. The result is a uniquely imaginative musical experience.
ALAY (meaning offering) fuses the traditional and the modern using a variety of textures and colors. Dahil Sa Iyo (Because of You), a popular Filipino love song, is completely transformed through intricate rhythms and complex harmonies. Kuya (Older Brother), an original composition, captures the personality and character of his late beloved cousin — playful, gregarious, loving and hopeful. Pandangguhan, a traditional rural dance, is re-created in layers of distinct and contrasting musical themes. The Filipino folk song Bahay Kubo (Nipa Hut) goes fully modern in this unconventional interpretation. In Victor’s hands, the touching melodies of Maalaala mo kaya? (Do You Remember?) and Saan ka man naroroon (Wherever You Are), both Philippine standards, are joyous and delightful musings. Victor’s arrangement of Bayan Ko (My Country) is an almost cinematic, evocative rendering of this song, one of the most cherished in the Philippines. Harana (Serenade) is a composition by Victor’s great-uncle, the late Emilio Maraan, composer, award-winning band conductor and a long-time member of the Manila Symphony Orchestra. Interspersed throughout the album are four original interludes inspired by paintings by Lee Añonuevo, Victor’s uncle.
ALAY is an offering of engaging material, and a wonderful expression of Noriega’s bold approach to his music.
Victor Noriega - piano :: Willie Blair - bass :: Eric Eagle - drums