Jazz Batá, the new project of pianist, composer and arranger Chucho Valdés, is both a look forward and a closing of pending business. In 1972, a year before he founded the transcendent Afro-Cuban jazz rock ensemble Irakere, Valdés experimented with a trio, which, while largely ignored at the time, proved crucial for the development of his music. Comprised of piano, acoustic bass and batá, the hourglass shaped drum that is essential in the ritual music of Yoruba religion best known as Santeria. Jazz Batá expressed his deeper Cubanization of jazz and the classic piano jazz trio in both its instrumentation and its sound. The new Jazz Batá is comprised by Valdés on piano; Yelsy Heredia, acoustic bass and Miguel Valdes on percussion and voice.