The story of trombonist May Peters is an interesting one. She is a native of the Netherlands who arrived in Puerto Rico more than twelve years ago, and fell in love with the culture and music of the island.
Actually, May Peters is more knowledgeable of the Puerto Rican music than most Puerto Ricans. She was a trombone professor at the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico and played with Salsa and Plena locals like Eddie Santiago and Plena Libre.
Peters’ fascination with Caribbean music can be heard all throughout her first recording, a tribute not only to the music of Puerto Rico but also to its women composers, Sylvia Rexach, Lily Delgado, Lucy Fabery, Gloria González, Myrta Silva, Zulma Angélica and Puchi Balseiro.
No doubt Peters is a versatile musician capable of playing different styles convincingly. Bomba on “Dí Corazón”, cha cha on “Caramelo y chocolate”, bolero on “Que Sabes tú” and on track 9, a Myrta Silva medley, plena on “Estoy Enamorado“, salsa (style where she sounds more comfortable) on “Si no te hubieras ido“, samba on “Nací y asi soy“, and the swing of the jazzier track Balseiro “Tu equivocación“. The structured but ingenious arrangements leave plenty of space for good improvisations by May Peters, pianist and producer Eric Figueroa, Paoli Mejías on congas and Luis Manuel Rodríguez on timbales.
Track Listing: Dí Corazon, Caramelo y Chocolate, Estoy Enamorado, La Oportunidad, Si no te hubieras ido, Medley Myrta Silva, Qué sabes tú/Tengo que acostumbrarme, Nací y así soy, Tu equivocación, Medley Myrta Silva (bolero) Radio Version, Nací y así soy (samba) Extended Version.
Personnel: Eric Figueroa – piano; Ramón Vázquez – bass; Greg Smith – electric guitar; Pedro Guzmán – cuatro; Paoli Mejías: congas, buleador, cajón; Tony Escapa – drums; Luis Manuel «Manolito» Rodríguez – timbales; Raúl Berríos Sánchez – cuíca y chékere; Pablito Rosario – maracas, guïro, rainsticks; Daniel Díaz – bongós, campana, buleador; Mickey Alvarado – surdo, pandeiro, tamborin, shaker, caxixi, cuíca, pitos; Cándido Reyes – güícharo.
May Peters on the web: maypeters.com
Label: Coqui Promotions | Release date: June 2013
Reviewed by: Wilbert Sostre