The extraordinary songwriter and producer, Meeco’s new album, Beauty Of The Night comes with a hidden cautionary note which is not visible or audible until the first strains of the music is heard: It is an elementally sad album and a box of Kleenex may be de rigueur. However, this is not to say that the album is not beautiful. After all, in immense sadness there is beauty as well. Meeco should know this. He is smitten with things Brazilian [...]
Trumpeter Gabriel Alegría’s first album to attract attention was the sensational Nuevo Mundo, which featured his seminal sextet, an ensemble that included one of the greatest living Peruvian musical masters, Freddy “Huevito” Lobaton, a percussionist whose genius is every bit the equal to that other great Latin American, Nana Vasconscelos of Brazil. The personnel in that ensemble—with a change of bassist—produced another startling album, Pucusana [...]
For the young, expatriate Cuban musician to survive the many assaults on the character of his music from all ends of the musical spectrum must be a remarkable event. Surely it must take a rock-solid technique to preserve his chops and his tumbao. Not only is this evident from the first few notes that Yoel Diaz plays on the piano, but the maturity of his playing and his ability to follow through on a viscous near-miraculous stream of ideas with conviction [...]
That Miguel Zenón has been recognized as one of the most exciting young alto saxophonists to break into the scene has been known for several years now. So it should come as no surprise when he released a third album, Alma Adentro: The Puerto Rican Songbook, in a loosely constructed trilogy that also included Jibaro (2004) and Esta Plena (2009). While these are all truly fine albums, this last one breaks the mould in both style and substance [...]
Naras Oblivious To The Obvious by John Santos – 2/18/12 The epic and historical blunder committed last April by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences was etched into the archives last week by...
Article written by: Wilbert Sostre Even those with knowledge in jazz history may be surprised to learn about the great contribution of Puerto Rican musicians to this genre. The first recordings in jazz were made...
Master percussionist, Sammy Figueroa is a two times Grammy nominee and member of Sonny Rollins band. With these credentials it is no surprise that his third release Urban Nature is an album full of intense harmonic and rhythmic music and outstanding compositions, starting with the fast paced opening track "Gufillo", a composition of Venezuelan pianist Sivano Monasterios. Figueroa is one of those musicians who know when to turn up the energy [...]
En octubre 15 del 2009 tuve la oportunidad de visitar Il' Jazz Club en su localización original, la Avenida Ponce de León, Rio Piedras. En aquella ocasión se presentaba el guitarrista Jorge Laboy, acompañado por Samuel Morales en el bajo y Efrain Martinez. Recuerdo haber pensado que al fin se lograba lo que todo amante del Jazz habia esperado, un local fijo en donde escuchar buena música todas las semanas. Sin embargo, por lo limitado del espacio [...]
Jon Gold is one of the most exciting virtuoso pianists, imaginative composers and original orchestrators in art of two important musical idioms—Brazilian and American. The fact that he melds musical linguistics like that other master who is tucked away in the Northwest, Jovino Santos Neto, shows him to be possessed of an essentially Brazilian soul. And this makes Gold a Brasiliero – a Carioca, when he makes an invisible leap into the sand and surf of Ipanema [...]
There is a visceral intensity to Cantos Del Sexto Col, the fiery album by reeds and woodwinds maestro Enrique Fernandez. This comes from the ferocious viscosity that swirls and swaggers in what appears to be a myriad of layers of sounds emerging from the instruments he plays, seemingly all at once. Each is annunciated with an apocalyptic shout and all meld with molten splendour into a soup of idiomatic musical dialects—spiritual and profane [...]