Volcan, an all-star group featuring the prodigious talents of Jose Armando Gola, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Giovanni "Manenguito" Hidalgo and Gonzalo Rubalcaba, is the product of years of friendship, respect and a diverse and rich musical heritage. With over 150 albums between them as leaders and sidemen, these highly revered musicians have joined forces to our delight.
In many ways, Volcan is a reunion long in the making. The careers of the respective musicians have intersected many times in the past, always resulting in some fabulous music. Their mutual respect for each other and for their respective music is no doubt part of the formula.
A well decorated and accomplished group of musicians, they were brought together as sidemen in 2012 for a recording session supporting a young German guitarist named Stefan Glass. It had been several years since they played together, but never all at once and as a group. For Gonzalo and El Negro in particular, this was the first time since groupo proyecto in the 80’s that the two men had played together.
By the end of the sessions, it was clear to all present that there was something special happening here, and that this group had to be recorded as such playing it’s own music. The sound was magic, an eclectic mix of many unique elements…. Gonzalo’s divine and prodigious border-free piano, Gola’s fresh, powerful and virtuous electric bass, El Negro’s wicked mix of Jazz, Rock, and Latin styles on his orchestral drum set and Giovanni’s encyclopedic and always optimistic rhythmic and melodic point/counterpoint explosion. The idea for “Volcan” came from Giovanni, who came flying into the control room during the first break and gleefully suggested “Let’s put our money together and record ….Volcan…. he blurted out… Volcan….Everyone agreed ….. it goes without saying that 5Passion was ready to fund the project.
After considerable reflection, the name Volcan was finally approved under the following pretext….The volcano incorporates the four elements of nature, Earth, Air, Wind and Fire. Looming large and at times ominously over otherwise unremarkable landscapes, the volcano reminds us of the goals we aspire to, the ensuing journey and the value of the climb to the summit.
And so goes the story of the birth of Volcan.