nos-tal-gia: a sentimental longing or wistful affection for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations.
I chose the title Nostalgias De Mi Vida in honor of my life in music. I have been influenced by and enjoyed working with many hugely talented musicians. Different periods and places in my life have made me the very happy musician, educator and family man that I am today. From my first days with my brother’s band Los Deltons in Merida, Mexico to being in the studio in New York recording with inspiring world class jazz musicians. I have great affection for this musical journey that I am still exploring with new challenges and sounds. I hope you enjoy this project that was made thanks to the blessings of God and a group of incredibly generous friends and sponsors.
Gabriela celebrates my lovely wife for the last 34 years. During these years she has been my inspiration and my prayer warrior. This song reflects our relationship full of faith and happiness.
Nostalgia takes you through the journey of my life full of wishful affection for the past. The voice of Kim Nazarian is haunting, ethereal and full of sweetness and energy. The string arrangement of Christian Jacob is beautiful and helps to deliver the message of what Nostalgia means to me. Also thanks to the Christian Howes String Ensemble for their soulful performance. A stunningly expressive solo by Jim Seeley.
Tu Mirada (Your Gaze) is a song with lyrics by Kim Nazarian and music by me. I wrote this melody a couple of years ago and asked Kim to write the lyrics. She did an amazing job with the lyrics and the interpretation. A magnificent horn arrangement by Jay Ashby.
Sambatico: I love cheerful, life-affirming tunes. I wrote it during my sabbatical semester during the Fall of 2015. A virtuosic, memorable piano solo of my dear friend and long time musical co-conspirator Misha Tsiganov and a warmly affectionate ending conversation between Joel Frahm and Jim Seeley. Inspiring work on vocals by Kim Nazarian and myself.
Eres Joven (“You are young”) This is the very first song I ever recorded with my brothers Los Deltons in Yucatan in the early 70s. The late Eric Germon is the composer. This song also was the winner of the musical festival Dosis in Merida, Yucatan in 1971. I love this song and I always wanted to record it again with a new arrangement. Thanks to Christian Jacob for his magical string arrangement and to the Christian Howes String Ensemble for their participation.
Tres (“Three”) is for my three daughters: Paola, Adriana and Natalia. They were my inspiration to come up with this tune. The composition has three sections and three great solos that reflect the lovely and distinctive personalities of each of them.
Un Tipo Como Yo (“A Guy like Me”): Yucatecan composer Sergio Esquivel, together with Armando Manzanero, are the most admired composers in Mexico of the last 50 years. I have recorded songs by Manzanero on my last album (Songs of Bacharach and Manzanero, ZOHO ZM 201613), and this time I wanted to sing a song by Sergio. It was very hard to choose which one to arrange since he has a vast collection of instantly recognizable, memorable compositions. I chose “Un Tipo Como Yo” and decided to do the song in 4/4 instead of 3/4. I asked my friend Jay Ashby to write a horn arrangement for two trombones which contributed to the richness of this arrangement.
Two After Two: This is a colorful instrumental melody that has a lot of energy with trombone, flugelhorn, and vocals by Kim Nazarian and myself. Wonderfully concise solos by Jim Seeley and Misha Tsiganov. Also, deftly swinging support work by drummer Adriano Santos and guitar player Rubens de La Corte.
Si Supieras Cuanto Te Quiero (“If You Knew How Much I Love You”) Back with Los Deltons in Yucatan in the 70s’s we used to sing songs by Los Hermanos Castro. Arturo Castro was the composer and leader of that vocal group. He is one of my favorite Mexican composers of the last 50 years. “Si Supieras” is a wonderfully romantic song that very few people have recorded. I sing the song and invited sax player Joel Frahm to accompany me with his warm sound.
Papao: I am a very family-oriented man. Papao (= “Para Paola”) is a song composed for our oldest daughter Paola. This happy tune full of rambunctious energy and passion, describes Paola. Thanks, Paola, for hosting me in NYC during the recording sessions! -- Gabriel Espinosa
Produced by: Gabriel Espinosa. Recorded at: Acoustic Recording, Brooklyn, NY on March, 26 - 29 of 2018 by Michael Brorby. Mixed and Mastered by Dave Darlington at Bass Hit Recordings, New York, NY. Photos by Linda Stelter. Art direction and package design by Al Gold. Executive Producer: Joachim “Jochen” Becker.
Thanks to God for giving me the opportunity to record this project with this group of amazing musicians. I would like to express special thanks to our fantastic guest singer/lyricist Kim Nazarian, you made my music shine. Also, my gratitude to the musicians who made this album what it is: Misha Tsiganov, Adriano Santos, Jim Seeley, Joel Frahm, Jonathan Gomez, Rubens De la Corte, Mauricio Zottarelli and Jay Ashby. A huge gracias to the horn arranger on three songs, Jay Ashby. We were blessed with the string arrangements of Christian Jacob and the participation of the Christian Howes String Ensemble. It was a pleasure and honor to work with all of you. Also my thanks to Michael Brorby, Dave Darlington and Jochen Becker from ZOHO Music. Muchas gracias a Los Deltons, Eric Germon (in memoriam), Sergio Esquivel y Arturo Castro por sus bellos temas.
This project is truly a team effort from the composer to the singers, the band, the arrangers and the string ensemble. I am so proud to make music with you. What a blessing!!!!!!! God is good.
Endless thanks to the love of my life, my wife Gabriela and my daughters Paola, Adriana and Natalia for your love and support. Also gratitude to my family in Mexico (Humberto, Victor, Patricio and Gloria). Also, my thanks to all my students at Central College and my Ashanti family. Some photos were taken at Central College in Pella, Iowa. The meaning of this backdrop for me is a truly Nostalgic one since that is where I first went to College (and then to Berklee College of Music and the University of North Texas). Many thanks to those three great institutions. Special thanks to Humberto Espinosa Canto for taking care of business in Merida for me and to my friend Alan Van Zee. This CD is dedicated in the memory of Humberto Espinosa Garcia, Cecilia Espinosa de Pastrana, Lourdes Espinosa de Rodriguez and Pichi Canto de Espinosa (Nostalgia). Gracias to Margarita Avila de Espinosa for introducing me to the music.
My appreciation to our sponsors who funded this recording: Ayuntamiento de Merida (2015-2018), Merida Capital de la Cultura (2017), Marion County Community Foundation in Iowa and Central College. Thank you all so much for helping me to make this project possible. --Gabriel Espinosa