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Raul da Gama

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Canadian writer. Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a musician and an accomplished writer whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

Chicago Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble – Blueprints (Chicago Sessions)

Darwin Noguera is a sublime talent. Not only does he have extraordinary technique, something he seems to have worked hard on, but he is...

Michael Simon – New York Encounter (Fresh Sound – 2009)

It is not obvious that Michael Simon is a native of Venezuela, who owes as much to that tradition as he does to the...

Diego Urcola Quartet – Appreciation (CAM Jazz/Sunnyside – 2011)

Diego Urcola’s is a voice that remained somewhat hidden—certainly tucked away—for two decades in Paquito D’Rivera’s quintet. And then there was the subdued role...

Glenda Del E: Q-Ban Mixology

If Glenda del E succeeds in doing what she has set out to do with Q-Ban Mixology, she will be one of the few...

Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orch – 40 Acres and a Burro

There may be a tongue-in-cheek aspect to Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra’s album, 40 Acres and a Burro (Zoho Music -...

Mark Weinstein: Jazz Brasil (Jazzheads – 2010)

Mark Weinstein has quietly established himself as one of the most wildly inventive flutists in modern memory. He is also one of the finest...
Dave Holland & Pepe Habichuela - Hands

Dave Holland & Pepe Habichuela: Hands

The music on this album, Hands, featuring stellar turns primarily by Spanish guitarist, Pepe Habichuela and British-born bassist, Dave Holland is, quite simply, one...

Paquito D’Rivera with the Pablo Aslan Ensemble: Tango Jazz – Live at the Lincoln...

One of the greatest love affairs in music is the one between folk music and dance. This extremely covert relationship has spilled over into contemporary music as well—more so in musical excursions in Europe (where even Igor Stravinsky sang its praises with compositions of his own) and in Latin America. One of the most beloved of all these affairs is the storied one of the tango, a voluptuous one between characters born in countries as far removed as [...]

Nelson Riveros – Camino al Barrio (Self Produced – 2010)

Nelson Riveros is one of the most proficient melodic guitarists inhabiting the world of music today. On top of that he is artful rhythmically....

Gabriel Palatchi Band – Diario de Viaje (Self Produced – 2010)

It is highly unlikely that when Gabriel Palatchi set off on his travels, out of Argentina, he thought he would be undertaking a musical...

Mike Marshall & Caterina Lichtenberg

It is no longer the necessity to use the term Third Stream that Gunther Schuller “invented” to describe the music created by the Modern Jazz Quartet in the 50’s, which was a confluence of the European Classical tradition streaming with cadenzas, infused with swaggering swing and syncopations of jazz idioms to describe much contemporary 21st century music, which does the same. Labels of any sort would diminish the excellence of the music played by Mike [...]

Hilario Durán Trio: Motion

In his much-anticipated follow-up to the Grammy-nominated and Juno Award-winning Latin Big Band recording, From The Heart (Alma Records, 2008) the piano master, Hilario...

Hector Martignon: Second Chance

In a literal world the music on Second Chance would simply represent “B” sides of music that pianist, Hector Martignon has played in the past. In reality they are anything but that. It is here that Martignon has provided wicked twists to all the music he has played before—he uses the term “devilish,” which in Spanish is a word fraught with meaning. The word diabólico might be infinitely more appropriate as it has fangs and breathes a fire [...]

Federico Britos: Voyage

As the world continues to awake to the rising tide of undiscovered music and musicians from the South American paradigm—in an almost ironic kind...

Bobby Carcassés: De La Habana a Nueva York

The insane revelry of the guaguancó kicks off De La Habana a Nueva York, and produces a blue flame of energy from an all,...

Roberto Fonseca: Akokan

In his follow-up to 2007’s Zamazu (Enja/Justin Time), Cuban piano master, Roberto Fonseca deepens his journey into his quasi-mystical musical search. Like the mythical...

Gabriele Tranchina: A Song of Love’s Color

It appears that exacting pitch is not really important in the grander scheme of things, for Gabriele Tranchina’s singing. Although it seems likely that if she really wanted to this vocalist could nail the exacting pitch of the notes themselves with perfection, Tranchina eschews the exactitude of notation to scale impossible heights of emotion. In this respect she is like a storyteller who uses lyric passages to let tales of longing and other elusive emotions unfold [...]

Um Abraço Pra Claudio – An Interview with Claudio Roditi

Interview conducted by: Raul da Gama My palms are wet, but I am not nervous—just uncontrollably excited to be talking with Claudio Roditi, an iconic...

Hamilton de Holanda Quintet: Brasilianos 2

The mandolin has barely evolved since its incarnation as a lute in Italy over three hundred years ago. A few more strings may have been added, so that there is now a ten-stringed version; tuning of these strings may have become more creative and different, but the instrument has remained essentially the same. Unlike the violin, its notes decay quicker after they are sounded and cannot usually be sustained after a point. But then you have musicians [...]

Mark Weinstein – Timbasa (JazzHeads – 2010)

It would seem that there is no stopping flutist, Mark Weinstein. While the composer and instrumentalist extraordinaire may not have trumped his awe-inspiring expedition into the realm of improvisation, Tales From The Earth (Ota Records, 2009) his album, Timbasa has certainly turned out to be an alchemist's dream. Who would ever have imagined that Miles Davis' languorous performance of "Milestones" could be regenerated as an extravagant and masterful Afro-Cuban adventure? [...]
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