With heat from the blue part of the flame – suggesting fire and, at times, ice – in ensemble and solo passages of Infrasonic by the Cabanijazz Project this music cuts Afro-Caribbean music to the bone and turns each of the ten charts into music that delivers hook upon hook the likes of which make Javier Cabanillas’ group a true power-ensemble. Mr Cabanillas complements his own crisp clarity of the congas with showcasing prodigiously-gifted musicians who solo with passion, inspiration and power. Trombonists Jamie Dubberly (with Mike Rinta on the beckoning “Bailamos Honey?”) joins Ben Torres on tenor saxophone and Aaron Lington on an elegantly bellowing baritone saxophone (together with tenor saxophonist Isaac Narell on “Esto Puede Ser Eso” together with Jean-Paul Balmat on alto saxophone, who also doubles on baritone saxophone on the effervescent “Domino, Bacanora Y Chiltepin” and “La Cruda”) with Miguelito Martinez on flute, on “Esto Puede Ser Eso”) make up the heart of this group.
But nothing can swing with as much swagger without the percussionist and Mr Cabanillas leads from the front with yeoman work by the signature rhythms of Brian Andres on the drum set, Omar Ledezma Jr on timbales (and vocals) with a little help from famous friends John Santos and Carlos Caro. And it is fascinating to hear how magnificently the Afro-Caribbean rhythmic colour palette is deployed by this combination of musicians. Whether they are dazzling us with the ferocity of their attack on the quicker pulses, or seducing us with the dallying grooves of music such as “Palo Fierro” the men skillfully, imaginatively and subtly blend their respective instrumental timbre and tonal colours with the rest of the brass and with Mr Cabanillas always leading the group to a place of great musical inventiveness and beauty. “Roasted to Perfection” is not only synonymous with the kind of music that this is, but also typical of the majestic musicianship that one has come to expect with these artists.
No music of any kind would be complete without the human voice as instrument and here the Cabanijazz Project features some of the very best. Carlos Caro, recalls the very best of the West Coast talent of men like Edgardo Cambon. Together with Christelle Durandy and Juan Luis Perez these musicians create masterful vocal landscapes that stimulate and evoke mental pictures of joyous and mysterious narratives. A mellifluous chorus comprising those vocalists enhanced by the gifts of Herman Lara and Jose Roberto Hernandez make the vocal-driven music of this album quite exquisite. Of course, the album is already a masterpiece of flair and subtlety anyway. Meanwhile much more is expected from this ensemble and on current evidence it is hoped that they stay together for a long time.
Track list – 1: Primavera; 2: Mi Gran Silencio; 3: Domino, Bacanora Y Chiltepin; 4: Esto Puede Ser Eso; 5: Bailamos Honey? 6: La Cruda; 7: Margarita’s Sonrisa; 8: Palo Fierro; 9: Roasted to Perfection; 10: Mi Gran Silencio (Instrumental)
Personnel – Javier Cabanillas: congas, bandleader, coro (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10); Jamie Dubberly: trombone (solos 1, 3, 6 – 8, 10); Ben Torres: tenor saxophone (1 – 3, 5 – 10; solos 1, 3, 6 – 10), clarinet (solo 4); Aaron Lington: baritone saxophone (2, 4 – 10; solos 7 – 10); Omar Ledezma Jr : timbales, vocals (3, 7) and coro (5); Brian Andres: drum set; Julio de la Cruz: Fender Rhodes; Kevin Silveira: bass; Special Guests – John Santos: chekere (1, 3, 5, 6, 9, 10), maracas (2, 8) and quuada (4); Carlos Caro: güiro (2, 7, 8); Christelle Durandy: vocals (1, 5) and coro (7, 10); Juan Luis Perez: vocals (1, 2) and coro (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10); Anthony Blea” violin (4); Mike Rinta: trombone (solo 5); Jean-Paul “JP” Balmat: alto saxophone (solo 4) and baritone saxophone (3, 6; solo 6); Miguelito Martinez: flute (solo 4); Isaac Narell: tenor saxophone (4); Herman Lara: coro (1, 2, 10); Jose Roberto Hernandez: coro (4); Juan Luis Perez: coro (1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 10)
Released – 2018
Label – Cabanijazz Records
Runtime – 55:16