Gonzalo Grau & La Clave Secreta : De Verdad Verdad Review
Gonzalo Grau & La Clave Secreta: “De Verdad Verdad” – A True Musical Odyssey
It’s been a quarter of a century since Gonzalo Grau and his ensemble of musical explorers formed La Clave Secreta, and in their latest album, De Verdad Verdad, they’ve truly come into their own, with a program that takes us on a musical journey that plays like a hybrid symphony that brings together a world of sounds, from Cuba to New York, from flamenco to hip-hop. It’s a fearless dive into the heart of what makes music a universal language, all brought into focus by Grau’s leadership.
The album opens with “Comando Z,” a vibrant, hip, funky salsa tune bound to set any dance floor on fire. This Grau original composition is a standout, featuring the remarkable vocals of Manolo Mairena, whose passion and energy are infectious. The way he commands the rhythm and melody, you can’t help but get up and dance and maybe even find a little romance along the way.
As the album progresses, the versatility of La Clave Secreta becomes evident. “Moros y Cristianos,” another Grau original, showcases wonderful string quartet writing and orchestration. This composition transports the listener through a series of musical landscapes, from a sensual tango to a Middle Eastern rhythm and finally to a thrilling Rumba. One of the stops on this journey is a hip montuno that features a call and response between the vocals and the talented Jeremy Bosch on flute and Doug Beavers on trombone. After Grau’s stirring piano solo, the composition transitions to a flamenco feel with outstanding flamenco singing by Ismael Fernández.
What makes De Verdad Verdad so special is not just the exceptional talent of each band member but the unique energy they create together. This album was recorded live, in one single space, with no separation between instruments, which gives the music a raw, organic feel that’s rare in today’s age of digital perfection. It’s clear that La Clave Secreta isn’t just a band – it’s a musical brotherhood, a multicultural family that has grown together over 25 years, and this intimacy is reflected in their music.
De Verdad Verdad has the energy of celebrating friendship to bring to life real music – raw, authentic, passionate, dynamic, and alive – and verifies that music buzzing with live energy still reigns supreme. With their latest album, La Clave Secreta invites us to join their musical family and experience the joy, passion, and freedom of music that’s truly “for real.” You’ll be moved by it. And you’ll understand why, after 25 years, La Clave Secreta is still making music that’s truly, deeply De Verdad Verdad.
De Verdad Verdad
De Verdad Verdad
May 15, 2023