Pianist Harold López-Nussa's Un Día Cualquiera arrives as U.S. restrictions regarding Cuba again tighten under the Trump administration; considered in that light, the album is an affirmative statement that music will always cross borders and defy obstacles. "I want to grow closer to the American people," López-Nussa said. "This has always been an important desire for Cubans, especially musicians. It's impossible for us to be separate because we have so much in common, so much to share."
On Un Día Cualquiera, Lopéz-Nussa sticks to his core trio, with his younger brother Ruy Adrián López-Nussa on drums and percussion, and bassist Gaston Joya - a group the pianist first convened a decade ago in Cuba.
"These are my closest friends and two of the greatest musicians of my generation in Cuba," he said. "We've played a lot together through the years, but this is the first time that we've toured and recorded as a working trio. When we play to together, something special always happens and I feel comfortable and free, because they know how my music works and where I will go even before I get there."
Un Día Cualquiera is a forceful statement from a Cuban musician leading his tight-knit Cuban band, recorded in the U.S. (at WGBH Studios in Boston, Mass.), and influenced by music from both countries in ways that transcend narrow notions of "Latin jazz." The album nods to classic Cuban composers and musicians, but it focuses mostly on pianist Harold López-Nussa's original tunes and his distinctive trio concept. These compositions are mostly new, save for one or two, such as the opener, "Cimarrón," which are older pieces reinvented for the present moment.
López-Nussa chose the new album's title, which means "Just Another Day," because, he said, "the idea is to put the music and the trio together in a studio and just play, the way we three do every day, any day - like a concert in the living room of your house."