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...]

The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band – ¡Ritmo! (2013 Latin Grammy Nominee)

The Clare Fischer Latin Jazz Big Band - ¡Ritmo!

* Previously reviewed and selected as Album of the Week on February 11, 2012.- Here is a truly special compendium of charts that pays homage to the human flow of sound and silence while employing in a most ingenious manner all of the elements, such as accent, meter and tempo—which relate to the forward movement of music—as few other Big Bands can compare in style and … [Read more...]

Michel Camilo – What’s Up? (2013 Latin Grammy Nominee)

Whats Up - Michel Camilo

The impish name of his album, What’s Up? would seem to suggest that Michel Camilo is having more fun on his second solo album than he did on the 2005 record entitled simply Solo. However there is much more to the album than a mere frolic on the grandest keyboard in music. Mr. Camilo is a complex character and while he is a showman and a thrilling virtuoso who likes to dazzle … [Read more...]

Negroni’s Trio – On The Way (2013 Latin Grammy Nominee)

On the Way - Negronis Trio

* Previously reviewed and selected as Album of the Week on October 15, 2012.- José Negroni’s piano playing is unique. Although he can be lithe and delicate in his expression his touch is generally heavier, almost like the hand of a conguero. Of course he is not that instrumentalist and his playing is informed by that of someone like Don Pullen, who not only played but … [Read more...]

Juan Carmona – Alchemya

Juan Carmona - Alchemya

The nine daughters born of Zeus and Mnemosyne, water nymphs awash in springs of Helicon and Pieris; the nine muses who ignite the impulse to adorn every word, every brush-stroke and every musical note have been awoken again. This time not only did they inhabit every stroke of the chisel as it etched a sketch in an Ionic or Doric column; or in every pluck of the string of a … [Read more...]

Estrella Acosta – Esquina 25

Estrella Acosta - Esquina 25

This album, Esquina 25, by the Cuban vocalist Estrella Acosta is strikingly similar to the legendary 1972 record by Milton Nascimento entitled Clube de Esquina. However, Mr. Nascimento’s record was spawned by the movement of the same name in the Northeastern state of Minas Gerais, to rival that of the Tropicália movement of the Cariocas. Ms. Acosta’s record is not part of any … [Read more...]

Clotilde Rullaud: In Extremis

Clotilde Rullaud - In Extremis

A most wondrous thing takes place when Clotilde Rullaud sings—wordlessly, sometimes… then using a given lyric. She seems not to beam her vocalastics through the electronics of a modern microphone, but rather through a gigantic prism that in turn rotates on an imaginary axis, controlled it would appear, by the power of her will. Her sublime vocal gymnastics is refracted as if … [Read more...]

May Peters – Tributo de Tambor y Trombón en Clave de Mujer Boricua

May Peters - Tributo de Tambor y Trombon

The story of trombonist May Peters is an interesting one. She is a native of the Netherlands who arrived in Puerto Rico more than twelve years ago, and fell in love with the culture and music of the island. Actually, May Peters is more knowledgeable of the Puerto Rican music than most Puerto Ricans. She was a trombone professor at the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico and … [Read more...]

Amanda Ruzza – This Is What Happened

Amanda Ruzza

Amanda Ruzza is one of a whole slew of talented musicians to come out of Brasil in recent years. She is a versatile bassist, a fine composer and a musician with an individual voice that appears to have absorbed a whole history of Brasilian music from the traditional Chôro to the Bossa Nova of Johnny Alf and Joao Gilberto and Antonio Carlos Jobim right down to the moderns such … [Read more...]

Pablo Ziegler & Metropole Orkest Conducted by Jules Buckley – Amsterdam Meets New Tango

Pablo Ziegler - Amsterdam Meets New Tango

The country that produces pianists of the genius of Martha Argerich might never produce anyone like her, but has also bred other musicians—and indeed, pianists—of considerable talent for composition, technique and creativity. One of these is the pianist behind some of the greatest groups of Astor Piazzolla: Pablo Ziegler. Now a solo artist, Mr. Ziegler may never be compared to … [Read more...]