"¡Coño! que ritmo el de La Coco…!!!" (Translation: "Damn! La Coco has some rhythm!" Read full interview / Entrevista en español here/aquí and listen/download for Complete Disc Tuesdays. (Alrededor de Medianoche Jazz & Blues, FM 91.7 in Viedma, Argentina, Feb. 12, 2019)
"Un disco bien cubano con coletazos de influencias varias que le imprimen un carácter especial, una banda de lujo gestiona la mejor compañia posible para el lucimiento de las composiciones de la pianista. Prometido para los Martes de Disco Completo." Alrededor de Medianoche FM Raices 91.7 in Viedma, Argentina, Feb 7, 2019 (Translation: "A real Cuban record with a string of influences that give it a special character, a luxurious band manages the best possible company for the performance of the pianist's compositions. Promised for Complete Disc Tuesdays." (Alrededor de Medianoche Jazz & Blues, FM 91.7 in Viedma, Argentina, Feb. 7, 2019)
"A Few Words About ¡Coño! (But with a Swing)” (Cedric Hendrix, Cirdecsongs.com, St. Louis, USA Feb. 5, 2019)
Check your expectations at the door. Deborah “La Cocodrila” De La Torre may be a Latin jazz pianist, but her latest album, ¡Coño! (But with a Swing) goes much deeper than the title implies. And it does so without the vocals a certain reviewer was anticipating. So much the better.
De La Torre’s nickname translates to “Lady Crocodile,” but all that bite is reserved for taking chunks out of her piano, for which she shows raw aggression (where needed), deft touch, and a great sense of musical joy that translates easily to the listener.
The album’s title (which means “Damn!” in Cuban Spanish) is also quite appropriate, as this reaction is elicited on more than one occasion from La Cocodrila and her top-flight rhythm section. The band could have taken a headlong dive in an obvious direction. Instead, they chose to embody jazz from many different scales, chord changes, and rhythms seemingly designed to keep the audience off-balance, particularly if they were looking for the basic good beat they could dance to.
That being said, the Latin influence is all over this album, making traditional jazz sound a bit more exciting. Whether it’s on the opening “Bop Bop Bop Bop,” or the highly syncopated (but musically thrilling) “Dulce y Caliente,” ¡Coño! has no problem reminding you of where it comes from even as it fails to define where the music is headed.
Bassist Ron Bland and percussionist Thomas A. Blomster make the most of the groove while De La Torre plays over, around and through it. The band is nicely augmented by Patricia Surman (flute), Randy Runyan (trumpet), Dave DeMichelis (guitar), and Rodney Farrar (cello) in key places, giving the listener a bit more to study. The melodies are enjoyable without being overwhelming, making it worthy of repeated listening. This album is, to be certain, a great musical adventure. ¡Coño! is the perfect reaction."
¡LATINA! (lee más aquí: Félix Amador, Jazz, ese ruido, España, Jan. 14, 2018)
"Nos llega el álbum debut de Deborah "La Cocodrila" De La Torre, pianista nacida en Miami y afincada en Denver, un disco de ritmos latinos donde pone a prueba las fronteras del jazz con su exploración constante de armonías y estilos dentro de cada tema, con su manera de llevar al límite el ritmo, su uso de las escalas, y, sobre todo, ocn una personalidad poderosa que se deja sentir en su manera de acometer los acordes. Una pianista que es un placer descubrir... Un disco más profundo cuantas más escuchas se le dediquen, con un gran trabajo compositivo, lleno de erudición y versatilidad, una tarjeta de visita perfecta para una pianista personal que merece la pena descubrir.
Translation: (read more here: Félix Amador, Jazz, ese ruido, España, Jan. 14, 2018)
We have Deborah's debut album "La Cocodrila" De La Torre, a pianist born in Miami and based in Denver, an album of Latin rhythms where she tests the frontiers of jazz with her constant exploration of harmonies and styles within each theme, with her way of taking the rhythm to the limit, her use of scales, and, above all, a powerful personality that is felt in her way to tackle the chords. A pianist that is a pleasure to discover... A deeper disc, the more you listen to it, with a great compositional work, full of erudition and versatility, a perfect business card for a personal pianist that is worth discovering.
"La pianiste Deborah De La Torre, aux influences latin-jazz, vient de sortir son premier album et le moins que l'on puisse dire c'est que son style est tout à fait unique et reconnaissable. Son jeu très personnel nous emmène à l'écart des quartiers touristiques des grandes villes sud-américaines pour nous faire explorer la beauté insoupçonnée des ruelles adjacentes avec ces accords originaux aux saveurs d'agrumes saupoudrées par instant d'épices aigre-douces mais aussi par ses accents rythmiques parfois à contre-courant et enivrants. En un mot, c'est une véritable belle aventure musicale à découvrir.." (Translation: The pianist Deborah "La Cocodrila" De La Torre, with Latin-jazz influences, has just released her first album and the least we can say is that her style is quite unique and recognizable. Her very personal game takes us away from the tourist areas of major South American cities to make us explore the unsuspected beauty of the adjacent streets with these original accords with citrus flavors sprinkled by instant sour-sweet spices but also by its rhythmic accents sometimes against the current and inebriating. In one word, it's a true musical adventure to discover." (One Jazz Not, France, Dec. 20, 2018)
"Un magnifico disco de Latin Jazz... es un trabajo fantastico... con mucho interes a esta fantastica pianista." (Translation: "A magnificent Latin Jazz album ... it's a fantastic job ... listen with great interest to this fantastic pianist." En Clave de Jazz podcast, Madrid, España, Dec. 2, 2018.
"If you’re a Jazz/latin Jazz lover I strongly recommend that you pick up this CD and add it to your Latin Jazz collection. I provided a sample track “Dulce Y Caliente” which happens to be one of many favorites of mine for your listening pleasure." (Walter Baez, aka DJWalter B Nice, NewGenSalsa.com, Dec. 2, 2018)
"Fenomenal trabajo" (Translation: "Phenomenal work") Jose Antonio Sánchez, @ECJAZZondalatin, Nov 30, 2108
"Entonces .... me envían un enlace para escuchar un tema por ¨La Cocodrila¨, titulado ¨Coño! (But With A Swing). Pues si!!! Coño with a Swing - les invito a disfrutar del tema de la amiga Deborah De La Torre ... ella es La Cocodrila!! Felicitaciones!!!" (Fernando Rodriguez de Mondesert, Jazz en Dominicana) Review in English: "When you get something titled COÑO your eyes light up. As I was drawn in by the title I clicked this link and had a FEAST! Excellent work, the composition is outstanding, the musicianship on spot. Love the piece and bass solos... she is La Cocodrila!! Congratulations!!!" (Fernando Rodriguez de Mondesert, Jazz en Dominicana).
"De La Torre swings, often to the metronome inside her head whose sound and shape shifting keeps the music interesting throughout. Clearly Latin ... this is a solid round up of spirited jazzy stuff that'll get your toe tapping without you even knowing it. Well rounded and well played, this is a winner of a date." (Chris Spector, Midwest Record, October 19, 2018)
"La pianista Deborah “La Cocodrila” De la Torre lanza ¡Coño! (But With A Swing), su debut musical. La pianista se mueve con suficiencia por diferentes corrientes rítmicas, bien sea el jazz, la música cubana o la clásica, su dominio agresivo del piano mientras produce ritmos extenuantes, escalas abruptas y acorde cromáticos la hacen merecedora del seudónimo “La cocodrila... una magnifica y ecléctica producción." (more) (Translation): "Pianist Deborah "La Cocodrila" De La Torre launches ¡Coño! (But With A Swing), her debut musical work. The pianist moves sufficiently through different rhythmic currents, whether it is jazz, Cuban music or classical, her aggresive domination of the piano while producing rhythmic strenuousness, abrupt scales and chromatic chords are all worthy of the pseudonym "La Cocodrila" ... a magnificent and eclectic production." (DJ El Chino's Solar Latin Club)
Radio / Podcast Interviews / Playlists
Latin Jazz Connection hosted by Juan Camarillo, KTEP.org, 88.5 FM El Paso, TX on Feb. 16, 2019, 9pm to 11 pm. (Baile Cubano, 7th song on the playlist)
Fiesta Jazz, presented and produced by Saúl Zavarse, at 106.7 PBS FM, Melbourne, Australia Feb. 15, 2019 (inclusion in podcast, "Dulce y Caliente" 6th song on the playlist).
El Viaje Latin Jazz with David Ortiz WRTI.org 90.1 FM in Philadelphia, PA, USA on Feb. 9, 2019.
Al Rededor de Media Noche Jazz & Blues FM Raices 91.7, Viedma, Argentina on Feb 7, 2019. Escucha en español: Promotion of the upcoming podcast includes several songs as well as reviews of the artist and the musicians in the band (7:50 to 27:38)
Latin Jazz & Salsa hosted by DJ Luis “Speedy” Gonzalez, WMNF 88.5 Tampa, FL on Feb 3, 2019. (Baile Cubano)
Latin Jazz Connection hosted by Juan Camarillo, KTEP.org, 88.5 FM El Paso, TX on Jan. 20, 2019. (Dulce y Caliente)
Denver Open Media, Denver, Colorado, on rotation as of Jan. 18, 2019
One Jazz Not, France, Playlist on Dec. 18, 2018 http://www.onejazznot.fr/
(three songs included on scheduled playlist plus ongoing playlist)
Libertonia Jazz Show, Onda Latina, Madrid, Spain, Dec. 11, 2018 www.ondalatina.com.es
Fiesta Jazz, presented and produced by Saúl Zavarse, at 106.7 PBS FM, Melbourne, Australia Dec. 8, 2018
En Clave de Jazz, Madrid, Spain Dec. 2, 2018
(live interview / entrevista en Español begins at 17:40 - 38:40)
(inclusion in podcast, begins at 84:40 - 89:30)
JazzFuel Spotify Playlist: "Featured New Releases From Around The World" Nov. 11, 2018
Jazz Odyssey hosted by Mark Anthony Montoya, KUVO Denver, Colorado, Oct. 9, 2018 (El Sudor)
La Cocodrila's music is now available worldwide
Listen to the
entire album on
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Deborah De La Torre, Cuban-American Latin Jazz Pianist Composer
The Crocodile, like the Island it symbolizes, is a strong and surprising creature, a creature that lays low for a while, but violently fights back when cornered and confined. This music sure breaks a few rules and purposely "does it wrong" on some occasions. It's postmodern and disruptive. Crocodiles live in the water and on land at the same time. Being a Miami native of Cuban and multicultural heritage, my music lives on many hyphens as well.
Her album title’s first word means “Damn!” in Cuban Spanish, a word you might say as you try to dance to some of the tunes when the rhythm breaks your ankles. However, one of the of the best things about living in Denver, Colorado since 2005 is the hot sunshine and being able to hike in the mountains surrounding the Mile High City. I've met some great musicians here who've helped make this album possible. Thomas A. Blomster, master percussionist, who has worked with giants such as Aaron Copland, Elliot Carter, and Krystof Penderecki, conducted numerous orchestras, and also writes and plays with jazz and rock bands, as well as the renown Ron Bland on bass, who has performed with jazz legends Dizzy Gillespie, George Benson, Doc Severinson, and Earth Wind and Fire, Linda Ronstadt, Pavarotti, Rosemary Clooney, and numerous symphony orchestras. Also many thanks to Patricia Surman (flute), Dave DeMichelis (electric guitar), Rodney Farrar (cello), Randy Runyan (trumpet).
Special thanks to recording engineer Tyler Reed Hayden and mastering by Justin Davis at Rocky Mountain Recorders, which has graciously offered to host the album's release party.
My first instrument wasn't the piano. My dad used to keep his Marching Band cornet hidden away but when I was four years old I found it and figured out how to play a scale. Soon enough my parents found me an old piano and I was playing tv show themes and commercials by ear. My 2nd grade teacher arranged for an audition with a university professor, and my first composition won a good-sized cash prize for a kid. I later studied composition with Dennis Kam at the University of Miami, where I founded the student chapter of the Society of Composers, Inc. (SCI). My passion for all things Latinx has been expressing itself through performing Latin American/Caribbean and Spanish classical music in solo concerts, founding an international Latino art and film festival, and producing a documentary on our nation's immigration crisis. Album number two is in progress.