Swing en 4 – Zumba que Zumba

With a complexity and variations of rhythms, there is always a balance of surprise and coherence in the music of Zumba que Zumba. The...

Dave Chamberlain’s Band of Bones: Stomp!

Dave Chamberlain’s Band of Bones’ recital is a gloriously deceptive one. For here is no familiar programme of New Orleans music but an enterprising...

Venissa Santi: Big Stuff—Afro-Cuban Holiday

Just what is so special about the vocalastics of Venissa Santi—just what is so singularly unique—is so eminently clear on Big Stuff—Afro-Cuban Holiday, the...

Ray Barretto: Time Was – Time is

The ubiquitous and colourful conga drum often resides in a cluttered space especially in Latin Jazz, a music that it seems to have shaped...

Chico Alvarez “El Montunero” – Country Roots/Urban Masters

Review written by: Raul da Gama One of the most endearing aspects of the great Afro-Cuban bands of the past—bands like those led by Mario...

Music for Peter Gunn: Harmonie Ensemble New York and Steven Richman

As I jazz lover it will always be a pleasure and a privilege to write about Henry Mancini´s music, the ingenious composer and arranger...

Daniel Smith – Bassoon Goes Latin Jazz (Summit Records – 2011)

The bassoon, that ubiquitous double-reed instrument, which featured prominently in the Baroque, Romantic and Classical eras of music, has been a relatively sparingly played—especially in solo settings—in the modern era. In jazz, which is all but synonymous with experimentalism, the bassoon has been very sparingly used. There are so few exponents of this odd, but beautiful instrument that wide gaps exist between Illinois Jacquet, Yusef Lateef and [...]

Greg Diamond: Conduit

In his follow-up to Dançando Com Ale a classic 2009 debut Greg Diamond has produced another remarkable record, Conduit. The guitarist displays increasing...
Samuel Quinto Trio - Salsa N Jazz

Samuel Quinto Trio: Salsa’ N Jazz

There is something about this new Brasilian-born pianist, Samuel Quinto that strikes a vibrant chord in the inner ear. Perhaps it has to do with his wonderful grasp of the joy that abounds in the Brasilian northeast… his sense of “alegria.” Perhaps it also has to do with his mature approach, wonderful use of dynamics, his expression and his innate ability to allow the tonal center of his music [...]

Ken Hatfield Sextet – For Langston

Langston Hughes is one of the great poets of the 20th century. His voice is as essential to the African American’s cry for freedom...

Mike Marshall & Choro Famoso: 2nd Time

The same rich ethnic cocktail that formed Brazilian society, from African, European and native ingredients, underlies its native genius for music. It also makes...

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 [...]

Trumpeter Diego Urcola Presents: Mates – A Collection of Inspired Duets

Mates by Diego Urcola The stories of tea and its discovery—depending upon which part of the world they come from—are delightfully apocryphal. But the taking...

Bobby Matos Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble: Ritmo & Blues

The percussionist Bobby Matos makes a point about the intrinsic connection between Afro Caribbean and Afro-American music. As is evident the African connection is...

Clarice & Sergio Assad: Relíquia

Two years ago I signed off my critique of Clarice Assad’s album Imaginarium as being something to die for. A few days ago (August...

Sebastian Schunke: Genesis, Mystery and Magic

Among the young musicians of today is a pianist who is known not only for his pianism, but also for his soul-searching intellect and...

Ricardo Silveira – Storyteller

Ricardo Silveira is one of the finest guitarists in any dialect, be it his own Brazilian ones, or any other. He is much admired...

Antonio Valdetaro & Group – Letícia (Independent, Brasil 2009)

What stands out immediately about this record Letícia is the ebullient mood that is struck with the first few notes of “Segura e Sai.” From then on the music gets busier but retains its sense of “alegria.” A warning, however: it pays not to me misled by the nature of the tracks that flow one after the other. Valdetaro and his group do a fine job of masking the true complexity of the songs [...]

Mongo Santamaría: Mongo at The Village Gate

Mongo Santamaria, more than any other Cuban percussionist, has had a wider appeal across musical idioms and metaphors. His music comes from deep within...

David Virelles And The Continuum Project Live At The Village Vanguard

From the lips of Henry Threadgill to the ears of David Virelles, the Continuum project is the expression of everything that has made David Virelles the pianist, composer and wunderkind he is today.