Monday, January 18, 2021

Pete Rodriguez: El Conde Negro

The younger Pete Rodriguez has always had big shoes to fill. Like most sons of famous parents nothing ever is a shoe-in. But remarkably...
Gastón Joya: Mama Ina

Gastón Joya: Mama Ina

A fierce energy leaps out of the opening notes of Mama Ina, the exquisitely-crafted debut album by the prodigiously-gifted bassist Gastón Joya. It is...

John Basile: Penny Lane

This is a vivid, provocative Beatles album from John Basile, a New Yorker who has a pianist’s approach to the guitar. Let there be...

Akua Dixon: Self-Titled Album

While the cello may have been put on the map of jazz, so to speak, by the great Oscar Pettiford, the instrument really came into its own under...

AfroMantra: This Side of Mestizaje

It is rare indeed for the complex polyrhythms of Chile—indeed all of Latin America—to be so completely subsumed into what is clearly music beyond...
Mart'nália Canta Vinicius de Moraes

Mart’nália Canta Vinicius de Moraes

Featured Album · Editor's Pick Mart’nália sings in a voice like seda crua cara – expensive raw silk – and she makes the words of...
José San Martín - Tocador

José San Martín Presents: Tocador

Tocador comprises repertoire culled from the music of the Uruguayan drummer and percussion colourist, José San Martín who made a name for himself after...

Bebo Valdés Trio: El Arte Del Sabor

There is no “one” single iconic recording by the great Bebo Valdés. The pianist was an epitomé of good taste, which is not the...

Bobby Matos – Unity (LifeForce Jazz Records 2008)

Whatever music Bobby Matos chooses to inhabit is sure to be brimful – even overflowing – with energy. On this record, Unity, Matos attempts to take his bandmates on a profound, if rhythmic journey. He is attempting to almost metaphysically mirror here the rhythm of the earth in a state of constant unifying – swinging, heart-beating, bebopping – rhythmic revolution [...]

Henry Brun & The Latin Playerz – A Tribute to Duke Ellington

A musical meeting of minds with Duke Ellington must certainly be the "Holy Grail" of many a composer and arranger no matter what language and idiom the musical tribute or acknowledgement will be played in. However, every musician who attempts that feat must invariably fall through the mythical trapdoor, like in Lewis Carroll's "Alice in Wonderland." Duke is, after all, a composer and [...]
Paquito D'Rivera and The United Nation Orchestra: A Night in Englewood

Paquito D’Rivera and The United Nation Orchestra: A Night in Englewood

This album was made at the time after Paquito D’Rivera had inherited what was left of Dizzy Gillespie’s seminal United Nation Orchestra and just...

Marco Diaz: Life Notes

Marco Diaz acquitted himself exceedingly well as John Santos’ pianist. On Life Notes Mr. Diaz has written a suite of songs that serve to...

Laura Otero: From Noche to Night

Anyone who has heard Laura Otero from her earlier repertoire or her remarkable performances on stage in Colombia’s Misi Productions will want to discover...

Donald Vega – Spiritual Nature

It takes probably three or four bars into the first song, “Scorpio,” on pianist Donald Vega’s Resonance album Spiritual Nature for a magical spell...

Tito Puente: Quatro – The Definitive Collection

Tito Puente, “El Rey del timbal” was almost singlehandedly responsible for bringing Cuban son, mambo and cha-cha-cha into the ballrooms and...

Victor Rendón – Fiesta Percusiva (Private/Independent, 2008)

Fiesta Percusiva, the title of this album by master percussionist and multi-instrumentalist, Victor Rendón does not even begin to describe fully the depth of this project. Sure it is a celebration. Which record driven by Latin rhythms is not? Yet it is much more than this. It is an emotional journey into the world of percussion from various corners of the Latin world [...]

Fidel Morales: Omío

In the highly unlikely event that you have not heard Fidel Morales play his drum kit or the bàtá drums now is your chance....

Alexis Cuadrado – A Lorca Soundscape

The mighty task of transposing the great Federico García Lorca from the landscape of poetry to the soundscape of music—despite the inherent musicality of his work—is a daunting one.
Ann Reynolds Clave Gringa: Joy

Ann Reynolds Clave Gringa: Joy

On some discussion boards – both serious and frivolous – you’ll find a persistent debate about the word “gringa”; is it a pejorative or...

Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet – Infinity (Patois Records 2008)

The attempt to make a thoughtful album and one that is supremely entertaining and musically superlative is perhaps one of the most daunting tasks that a musician can undertake. To find this in an album is rare and that is what makes Infinity by the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet so much of an event that just cannot be ignored [...]