If drum-kits are the centre of your universe, then Mark de Jong’s second CD with his band, Latineo Universal Resonance will thrill you beyond your wildest imagination. If not, get ready for eight tracks of excitement that whether Latineo whisper, bang or shout, Mark De Jong’s music will always be more fascinating than you might expect anything Afro-Caribbean that is not from Cuba to be: always emotionally and viscerally aligned with the authentic and certainly among the most entertaining music of today.
And while the composer and drummer Mark De Jong might not be Cuban, his Dutch upbringing certainly puts him closer to the heart of the music than many musicians and drummers might claim to be. You can hear it immediately in the music that his scores unleash, and that is played with such spontaneous energy by his fellow-Netherlanders, Teus Nobel on trumpet or Marc Bischoff on piano and let’s not forget saxophonist Bart Wirtz, whose star turn on ‘Breeze’ is one of the defining moments of the disc. Of course you would expect nothing less from Latineo’s ‘Latin’ contingent – the ever-wonderful Efraïm Trujillo and the inimitable Juan Carlos Rosquerte whose music is fueled by the explosive fireworks of their saxophones (both on ‘Iyesando’ and on ‘¡El que no corre, vuela!’, the tempestuous bass of Yerman Aponte and the sweeping and poetic percussion colourations of Leonid Muñoz.
‘Iyesando’, on which both Mark de Jong and Leonid Muñoz on bàtá drums literally explode out of the gate, sets the momentum of the entire disc. What follows feels like a masterful coiling and uncoiling of the proverbial spring. Rhythms are always tricky and melodies seductive and the band turn up the heat one song more seductive and alluring than the next. ‘Funology’ in particular is the epitomé of this experience. The last track, ‘¡El que no corre, vuela!’ is simply gorgeous and features some of the most flawless displays of polyrhythms from both Mark de Jong and Leonid Muñoz.
The sound on this disc will hair-raising if your stereo system can deliver it the way it was captured. But more than anything it is music that will whet your appetite for more of this distinguished artistry as comes from Mark De Jong and the musicians of Latineo.
Track List: Iyesando; Light Years; Bird Flying High; The Passage; Rollercoaster Ride; Funology; Breeze; ¡El que no corre, vuela!
Personnel: Teus Nobel: trumpet and flugelhorn; Efraïm Trujillo: tenor and soprano saxophone; Juan Carlos Rosquerte: alto saxophone; Marc Bischoff: piano, Rhodes and keyboards; Yerman Aponte: bass; Leonid Muñoz: congas and bàtá drums; Mark De Jong: drums, leader. Guests: Bart Wirtz: alto saxophone on all arranged horn parts and solo on ‘Breeze’; Fabian Nodarse, Juan Carlos Rosquerte, Fania Rodriguez & Elja de Jong: coro on ‘¡El que no corre, vuela!’.