Tino Contreras is a Mexican jazz master who for five decades and counting has melded Latin influences with free jazz, psychedelia, avant-garde experimentation, and global sounds from Egypt, India, Turkey, and elsewhere. The Jazzman label has just issued "El Jazz Mexicano De Tino Contreras," a compilation drawing from many of his exceedingly rare LPs such as "Quinto Sol, Musica Infinita" (1978) and "Misa En Jazz" (1968).
From Holy Warbles:
Like many jazz musicians and composers from the period, Tino Contreras attempted to combine secular and non secular composition. The results on display here are eerily engaging. “Santo” (heard above) interweaves a stripped down jazz organ refrain in 5/4 time (think Dave Brubeck Quartet) with liturgical male and female vocal chant - it shouldn’t work but it does. Weirder still, “Credo” utilizes a ghostly ballroom organ which evokes an image of Sun Ra languorously jamming on a disused seaside pier round midnight with a devout choir lamenting to otherworldly effect in the background. Twisted jazz never sounded so good. “Gloria” is even odder, opening with noir call girl tease, the track slowly evolves into celestial chorus and progressive modern jazz flourishes creating a sublime meeting point between the sacred and profane. I don’t go to church often but if I heard this playing from the pulpit, I definitely would.
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