Alexander Brown – The Process

Alexander Brown - The Process -

Alexander Brown is a truly gifted trumpeter. The Cuban-born Canadian, of African Cuban heritage plays with breathtaking honesty. There is a great unquenchable fire in his “voice” and the manner in which he plays seems to fan that fire. He dallies over notes somewhat and this creates a kind of elongated effect, which when notes are strung into even unfinished phrases and longer … [Read more...]

Roberto Fonseca – Yo

Roberto Fonseca - Yo

This recording, Yo by Roberto Fonseca appears to be his most visceral work of music so far. Despite having a high musical intellect and striving for a cerebral approach to music—which to a certain extent is true of this record as well—Mr. Fonseca appears to have stripped away all style, allowing the music to be stripped of its sentimentality; to be infused with a raw; almost … [Read more...]

Paquito D’Rivera and Trio Corrente: Song for Maura

Song for Maura

Just when it is believed that Paquito D’Rivera is a fine alto saxophonist who also plays clarinet, he goes and makes an album almost completely on clarinet—a Brasilian one at that; in homage to a country and its people most beloved to the Cuban-born, New York-based genius. Perhaps the magic moment had arrived—never too early and never too late. And as it was all a matter of … [Read more...]

Celebrating Dinah and Sarah at Koerner Hall in Toronto

RamseyLewis_004

As part of the TD Jazz: Celebrating Dinah and Sarah series, Toronto jazz lovers were fortunate to see and listen a great performance by the veteran grand master of jazz, Ramsey Lewis with his quintet and the young upcoming singer Cécile McLorin Salvant. Concert Review and Photos by Atael Weissman It was quite symbolic to see Ramsey Lewis, composer and pianist, contemporary of … [Read more...]

Salsa de la Bahia Vol. 1 – A Collection of SF Bay Area Salsa and Latin Jazz

Salsa de la Bahia

There is a staggering array of exquisite music on Salsa de la Bahia Vol. 1, which is unlike other compilations featuring various artists. There is something of a golden thread that runs through the entire 2-CD collection. And this makes it unique. This ground breaking anthology of Afro-Cuban music reveals the hidden history of tropical heat from the San Francisco Bay Area, in … [Read more...]

Poncho Sánchez and His Latin Jazz Band – Live in Hollywood

Poncho Sanchez - Live in Hollywood

Poncho Sánchez’s established his pedigree very early in life, performing with Cal Tjader—who invited him for just one set in 1975, and with whom he ended up staying until he died in 1982. Mr. Tjader became Poncho Sánchez’s mentor, and he was instrumental in getting Carl Jefferson, founder of Concord records to sign Mr. Sánchez for a one record deal. Fortuitously that deal … [Read more...]

Buika – La noche más larga

Buika

There is an aspect of vocalastics in a rarified realm that when attained by the singer, replaces earthly country and heritage with the whole of the cosmos. Vocalists such as Billie Holiday, Abbey Lincoln, and more recently, Lucía Pulido have attained that status. And now, Buika, as well... Singing in a flamenco idiom, conjuring up the perfect polyrhythmic storm of Africa, of … [Read more...]

Border-Free: Chucho Valdés and the Afro-Cuban Messengers

Chucho Valdes - Border-Free

* Previously reviewed and selected as Album of the Week on May 21, 2012. - The connotation of the music of Chucho Valdés being Border-Free, from soul to finger-tips, is that idiom and metaphor melt—one into the other—and that lines are blurred; so much so that the imagery and sound of musical topography of continents merge in a singular, beautiful song. In Spanish the title … [Read more...]

Two Releases of Ricardo Silveira on Adventure Music

Ricardo Silveira

The masterful Brasilian guitarist Ricardo Silveira has produced two records recently. The first one is a guitar duet with another guitar master, Roberto Taufic, who has been surprising fans and critics alike with his solo projects and duets with bassists and pianists, guitarists and vocalists alike from Brasil to Italy and Germany. The other record by Mr. Silveira is a … [Read more...]

Pedro Martins – Sonhando Alto (Dreaming High)

Pedro Martins - Sonhando Alto

Pedro Martins has arrived. Just like that the young guitarist has simply exploded on the musical stage, continuing the line of Brasilian guitarists who have taken a leap of faith from the tradition they serve so brilliantly; adhering to it and creating within its rich environs when necessary, and making a run for it as they push out of its boundaries when the need arises. On … [Read more...]