Isla del Encanto, Borinquen, Puerto Rico, small in dimension, but has given the world a host of exceptional artists. Among these, the monumental figure of Humberto Ramírez stands out, recognized as one of the most innovative musicians of his generation. From his father, saxophonist and conductor, he got inspired to play the flugelhorn when he was eleven years old.
In his latest production as a leader, Focus, Humberto Ramírez surrounds himself with close collaborators who accompany him on this musical journey: Frankie Pérez [tenor saxophone], Julio Boria [piano], Giovanni Ortíz [bass], Francisco Alcalá [drums], William “Kachiro” Thompson [congas], Angel D. Mattos [piano, keyboard], Junior Irizarry [bass], Raúl Rosario [timbal, bongó], Eddie Montalvo [congas], Julito Alvarado [trumpet], Norberto “Tiko” Ortíz [ tenor saxophone], Reynaldo Jorge [trombone], Edgardo Rivera [piano], Fernando Marcano [trumpet] and many more.
Ramírez opens his musical proposal with “Fiesta Mood” in which his trumpet stands out with a subtle, soft and melodious touch, creating a relaxed atmosphere in which rhythm, melody and harmony involve the listener, in an open invitation to dream of the tropics. “Aquarius” continues in the same vein, prolonging the sensory ecstasy that only good music can induce. “Pipo’s Special” gives us an excellent orchestral arrangement for Big Band, of which Ramírez is a master. Intense and sophisticated, it combines elements of salsa and Latin jazz that invite you to dance to the beat of the music. “Vida Real” presents us with an inspired jazz quartet a la Chet Baker or Miles Davis, in which Ramírez moves comfortably between the trumpet and the flugelhorn.
“Wine Tasting” presents a very tasty dialogue between flugelhorn, piano and bass, accompanied by congas, timbal and bongó. “Callejón Jam” is a street descarga with a rumba air in which the trumpet, bass and congas get loose, softly and without haste. “Pa ‘Humber” is a composition by Ángel D. Mattos with arrangements for Big Band in which 17 musicians take part [as in track 3, “Pipo’s Special”]. The album closes with the tune “Focus” in which Mr. Ramírez plays trumpet and piano.
In this album produced by Humberto Ramírez [number 33 as a leader], all the compositions are his own, with the exception of “Vida Real” [C. Novarro, M. Ribas, N. Motta] and Pa ‘Humber [composition and arrangements by Ángel D. Mattos].
Track list – 1. Fiesta Mood; 2. Acuario; 3. Pipo’s Special; 4. Vida Real; 5. Wine Tasting; 6. Callejón Jam; 7. Pa’ Humber; 8. Focus.
Personnel – Humberto Ramírez [trumpet, flugerhorn, piano in “Focus”], Frankie Pérez [tenor saxophone], Julio Boria [piano], Giovanni Ortíz [bass], Francisco Alcalá [drums], William “Kachiro” Thompson [congas], Angel D. Mattos [piano, keyboard], Junior Irizarry [bass], Raúl Rosario [timpani, bongó], Eddie Montalvo [congas], Julito Alvarado [trumpet], Norberto “Tiko” Ortíz [tenor saxophone], Reynaldo Jorge [trombone ], Edgardo Rivera [piano], Fernando Marcano [trumpet] and many more.
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