Enclave” is a play on words in two languages. In English, “enclave”, generally pronounced ON-clave, means a small community enclosed within a larger one. In Spanish, “en clave”, pronounced en CLAH-vay, means “in the clave.” The clave is the archetypal rhythmic pattern that lies behind much music of the African diaspora.
One might see “enclave” and “en clave” as opposite poles. “Enclave” implies the local, the particular, the unique. Little Italy is an enclave in Manhattan. Enclaves can be special islands of resistance against the homogenizing forces of the larger culture. “En clave,” on the other hand, is not about local customs. It is about the universal language, the lingua franca. Musicians from the Congo, Cuba, North America, Europe, and Japan can communicate instantaneously around the clave.
Artists who want to say something original within the field of Latin jazz have to walk a tightrope between being an “enclave” and being “en clave.” They want to express their own vision and come up within a distinctive sound, but they are intensely aware of the constraints of the clave and the weight of tradition.
Hilary Noble and Rebecca Cline have taken care to acquire solid foundations in the jazz and Afro-Latin traditions. Hilary has studied saxophone with George Garzone and Yusef Lateef in the U. S., and percussion with Maximino Duquesne in Cuba. Rebecca has studied piano with Joanne Brackeen and Charlie Banacos in the U.S., with Luis Marin in Puerto Rico, and with Chucho Valdés in Cuba. They have also played with some of the torchbearers of the music, including Giovanni Hidalgo, Bobby Sanabria, and John Santos.
But to create an enclave is to choose not to live in a neighborhood just like all the others. On solid foundations one endeavors to create a community with its own specific character, its own unique idioms, its own special charms. This Noble/Cline have done, by bringing together rhythms from Cuba, Brazil, Argentina and North America, and combining them with elements of bop, post-bop, jazz rock fusion and free jazz.
To help in this act of creation, they have enlisted a couple of master craftsmen: bassist Fernando Huergo and drummer Steve Langone. Fernando and Steve can almost be thought of as an enclave unto themselves, having played jointly with the Jinga Trio, Jinga Quintet, Nando Michelin, and others. They have also performed separately with the likes of Luciana Souza, Danilo Perez, Jerry Bergonzi, Dave Samuels, Dave Kikoski, Paulo Braga, and many others.
So there you have it. The unique attraction of a special, creative community. The global appeal of the clave. Add to that the universal language of passion, commitment, soul, aché, and you have Enclave.
Cha-nando: A whimsical little cha-cha-cha named in honor of our bass player.
Viva Freire: This tune swings between Afro-Brazilian and Afro-Cuban. It celebrates the great Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, who was “invited to leave” by his country’s military dictatorship for teaching poor people to read. As a teenager in Switzerland, Hilary played with Paulo’s son, Ludi, in a Brazilian band.
Dragon Slayer: One of the very first Noble/Cline compositions. It began as a 7/4 jazz/rock vamp in Rebecca’s head. Using notes suggested by the vamp, we worked backward and constructed an opening melody to be played over what the Cubans call an “Afro” rhythm. Noble found the Afro to have rather burlesque possibilities, which he endeavored to highlight by his slippery soprano saxophone playing (perhaps showing his indebtedness to Steve Lacy). The harmonies in the Afro section evokes warm memories of Cheo Feliciano singing “El Raton.” The Afro and the 7/4 sections are bridged by metric modulation.
From left: Fernando Huergo, Hilary Noble, Rebecca Cline, Steve Langone. Photo: Sergio Royzen, June 2005.
You Would Be So Nice To Come Home To: Rebecca’s arrangement takes a whirlwind tour through Caribbean and South American rhythms via the time-tested Cole Porter standard. The initial mood of the arrangement was inspired by Gonzalo Rubalcaba’s evocative, unhurried, and deeply felt piano playing on his 1999 release Inner Voyage, still one of Rebecca’s favorite recordings, thanks to its brilliant balance of space and groove.
Eleven Ruminations: Alone at the piano, Rebecca plays with the two themes of Once Eleven.
Once Eleven: The title is a bilingual pun (hint: both words mean “eleven” and one of the languages is Spanish.) It features a simple theme played eleven times with eleven different harmonizations. The bilingualism of the title is mirrored by rhythmic bilingualism: though the first statement of the theme is played over Afro-Cuban rhythms, both Rebecca and Hilary solo over a straight-ahead jazz feel.
Hilary’s tenor solo is set to uncomplicated harmonies that help him to get in touch with his inner David Murray. Rebecca interprets a different set of changes, based on the harmony of the primary theme. Hilary moves back to congas for a solo over a montuno based on the initial theme, and drummer Steve Langone also has a chance to shine over the same.
Dark Nebula: A jazz ballad with a free-form development section. The opening statement highlights the guitar-like lyricism of Huergo’s masterful electric bass-playing.
Comfort Zone: Based on a voicing derived from a pentatonic scale, this tune is an experiment in flowing between a drum-and-bass groove and a mambo-like feel.
RumbaNations: Hilary’s great opportunity to play with himselfat last count, he had laid down nine percussion tracks and three saxophone tracks (tenor, alto, soprano). The “nations” alluded to in the title are, broadly speaking, Afro-Cuban folklore and the jazz avant-garde. These nations may sound here like they are having a frontier skirmish, if not all-out war, but Noble wants it to be a fruitful conflict, like what happens when we say “worlds collide.” It turns out that RumbaNations and FreeJazzNations have a lot in common, including a tendency to avoid harmonic instruments and a love of raw vocal sounds.
Hilary Noble & Rebecca Cline
Steve Langone plays Bosphorus Cymbals.
Recorded at PBS Studios, Westwood, MA by Peter Kontrimas in February & July 2004. “RumbaNations” recorded at Face the Music Recording by Brian Bender. Mixed, edited and mastered by Mike “Scrod” Caglianone, Hilary Noble, Rebecca Cline, and Andy McWain at 7A West Studios, Charlestown, MA in September November 2004, and May 2005. Produced by Hilary Noble and Rebecca Cline. Associate Producer: Andy McWain. Photography : Sergio Royzen. Package Design : Three and Co., New York (www.threeandco.com). Executive Producers: Joachim Becker and Yvonne Roessel.
www.hilarynoble.com Enclave bookings : (617) 645-3216