Wednesday, February 19, 2020
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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.

Hendrik Meurkens: Live at Bird’s Eye

Hendrik Meurkens is, most certainly, one of the greatest musical adventurers from Europe. The harmonica wunderkind who also happens to be a fine vibraphone player seems to have almost singlehandedly rediscovered Brazil decades after Stan Getz and Joe Henderson did almost five decades ago. In doing so Meurkens along with the grandmaster of the harmonica, Toots Thielemans, has cast a refreshing light on Brazilian music [...]

T.K. Blue: Latin Bird

The hypothesis that in Charlie “Bird” Parker’s music the cultures of the world collided may be new, even unheard of until now. The elemental polyrhythms of Africa were melded into the folk forms of America and both were glorified in the polyphony of European music as Bird soared. The alto saxophonist wrote and played like a pianist; sang like a choir of angels and broke endless boundaries creating a music so timeless and elastic that it will, no doubt, live forever [...]

John Santos Sextet: Filosofía Caribeña, Vol. 1

John Santos wants to draw attention to the virtually institutionalized segregation between Afro-American and Afro-Caribbean communities. He has always been painfully aware of this and condemns it in more ways than one. The most damning condemnation of it is his daunting experiments to unify the two communities through the most extraordinary cultural collision: and that is through Filosofía Caribeña, Vol. 1. (Machete Records - 2011), a superb [...]

Gonzalo Rubalcaba: Fé/Faith

The thin line between theology and art was blurred in ancient times and this was manifested in the Psalms and in the Song of Solomon—both forms of poetry set to music and completely absorbed by devotion, praise and worship. What characterized this form of poetry and music was the complete surrender of the intellect to the soul. Thus the utter beauty of this art was able to shine with sheer passion and soaring spirituality. This is what characterizes [...]
Cuban Rhapsody - Jane Bunnett & Hilario Durán

Jane Bunnett & Hilario Durán: Cuban Rhapsody

Both reeds and woodwinds maestro Jane Bunnett and piano virtuoso Hilario Durán have released enormously successful albums lately. Bunnett made Embracing Voices (EMI, 2009)...

Patty Ascher – Bossa, Jazz ‘n’ Samba (Zoho Music – 2011)

Patty Ascher’s exquisitely floating soprano literally takes flight on her ever so memorable English album, Bossa, Jazz ‘n’ Samba, a collection of mostly original...

Charito – Heal The World (Zoho Music – 2011)

The question that must have been uppermost in the minds of many of those involved in this project, Heal The World a tribute to...

Danilo Pérez – Providencia (Mack Avenue Records – 2010)

Danilo Pérez’s extraordinary album, Providencia is more than a delightful suite. It is a love story… a love story between a father and his...

Paquito D’Rivera – Panamericana Suite (MCG Jazz – 2010)

The importance of Paquito D’Rivera’s Panamericana Suite cannot be diminished although it was released almost six months ago. D’Rivera premiered this Suite when he...

Bobby Matos & His Afro-Latin Jazz Ensemble – Beautiful As The Moon

The master timbalero, Bobby Matos not only carries on the great tradition of the timbales that he inherited from El Rey, Tito Puente, but...

Phil Hawkins – Sugarcane Suite (P. Note Music – 2010)

The remarkable aspect of Phil Hawkins’ Sugarcane Suite is the fact that it connects seemingly disparate elements into a cohesive whole with cheerful alacrity....

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

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 Orchestra - 40 Acres and a Burro

Arturo O’Farrill & The Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra: 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....