Mexican Drummer and Jazz Legend Tino Contreras Next on Gilles Peterson’s Brownswood

Photo | Arturo Rodríguez Torija

Brownswood Recordings will present a psychedelic jazz album from Mexican drummer and jazz legend Tino Contreras.

La Noche de los Dioses, meaning the night of the gods, is the second unfolding in the relationship between Gilles Peterson, Contreras, and musician and record collector Carlos Icaza. It follows the reissue of Contreras’ Musica Infinita on Arc Records, Peterson’s label focusing on reissuing curiosities. Peterson first picked up a copy of Musica Infinita in Japan and in a serendipitous moment met Contreras back in 2019 in Mexico City, igniting the spark that led to the reissue and now a new album.

Across the album, Contreras is joined by a host of musicians including his son, Valentino Contreras, on bass and Icaza on harmonic arps and pre-Hispanic percussion. We’re told by Peterson that it represents Contreras’ entire career in one, including the nightclubs of Mexico, the blues, and the decadence. “It’s a sassy subterranean cosmic sound,” Peterson says. He recorded it at La Nueva Fresa studios, Mexico City.

In support of the announcement, Contreras has shared the title track, which draws on the two identities of the Goddess Coatlicue (representing both life and death) and the God Huitzilopochtli, who symbolises the war and the sun within Aztec culture. Contreras composed it back in the ’70s.

Born in 1924 in Chihuahua, in northwest Mexico, to a family of musicians, Contreras kicked off his fascination with the drum kit as a young child. He was surrounded by music, raised by his father who led the OK Jazz Band orchestra, which inspired him to move to Ciudad Juárez where he formed his own orchestra. You could find Contreras sharing stages with the likes of Dave Brubeck, Art Blakey, Louis Armstrong, and many more greats.

Tracklisting

01. La Noche de los Dioses
02. Máscaras Blues
03. Naboró
04. Malinche
05. El Sacrificio
06. Al Amanecer
07. Niña Yahel

La Noche de los Dioses LP is scheduled for October 23 release. Meanwhile, you can pre-order here and stream “La Noche de los Dioses” below.

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