Steven Kroon is not only living the dream as one of the frontline percussionist playing music in the Afro-Caribbean, Brasilian and Latin-Jazz styles, but he has also made enough beautiful music to be In Your Dreams both literally and figuratively. In the crowded world of Latin-style percussion in and around El Barrio, in New York and, indeed, in the whole of continental USA a percussionist must remain constantly in the eye of the hurricane, so to speak. Mr. Kroon may not have done enough of that on his own, but make no mistake he has travelled the world with luminaries such as Diana Krall, Luther Vandross whilst also playing in formidable ensembles on the Jay Leno Show; all this after learning at the feet of such masters as Dom Um Romao – to mention just one of his gurus. In all of this it is, indeed a surprise that he had to wait until 2016 to be recognised as a “talent deserving of wider recognition”.
However, Steven Kroon is not one to dwell on such matters for long. He has been worshipping at the altar of originality for decades and has several remarkable studio recordings to show for that. And while no one was looking he continued to create music. The result is a fascinating meta-work that creates myriad associations, resonances and new perspectives, not just between his own and others’ compositions, but also within the musical dialect that he has employed to express himself for years. In Your Dreams is his richest offering yet in terms of musicality.
Mr. Kroon’s “Crusin’” (with Oscar Hernández) and “In Your Dreams” (with Brian Carrott) move initially nimbly but soon turn into self-combusting vehicles for the broad colour-palette that he employs as he paints these two musical opuses – the latter quite the bomb. However, everywhere on this repertoire (on In Your Dreams the album, that is) Mr. Kroon brings a wonderful capacity for creating primordial energy as well as refinement to the music, even as it bursts forth from whatever instruments he happens to be playing from within his battery of percussion instruments. Overall the music throughout bedazzles, bemuses and delights the senses as only someone with such finesse as Steven Kroon can.
Track list – 1: Azulito; 2: Nature Boy; 3: I Just Can’t Stop Loving You; 4: Un Dia De Playa (A Day at the Beach; 5: Bird of Beauty; 6: Cruisin’; 7: Mi Lindo Son; 8: Another Girl; 9: The Gift; 10: In Your Dreams
Personnel – Steven Kroon: congas and percussion; Igor Atalita: piano; Brian Carrot: vibraphone; Craig Rivers: flute; Joel Mateo: drums; Ruben Rodriguez: electric bass (1, 2, 4, 6, 7); Donald “Spider” Nicks: electric bass (3, 5, 8 – 10); Ron Blake: tenor saxophone
Released – 2018
Label – KroonTune Records
Runtime – 54:73