Chembo Corniel Quintet: Land Of The Descendants

Chembo Corniel

Editor’s Pick · Album of the Month ·

It would be downright foolish to assume that just because Chembo Corniel fronts the quintet this album, that it is just another Latin-Jazz album. On the contrary, it is a very sophisticated album and profoundly animated for its entire 48 minute length. Moreover, it proves, once again that Corniel, a percussionist of devastating charm and talent is more than a rhythmist. He is willing to push the envelope, explore tonal and textural realms with a child-like sense of adventure. He is a disarming performer who certainly pays tribute to his cultural background but is not averse to probing the atmospheres and aromas of the land around him, embracing elements from assorted cultures.

This is what makes Land Of The Descendants so transformative. It is an album full of exultant asymmetrical rhythms and harmonic pungencies. Throughout, Corniel, a superb master of ceremonies is unafraid to take the music into unchartered territories also giving the musicians in his ensemble quite a free rein to go where the music takes them. This is why the music abounds in fresh gestures drawn from various enchanted inspirations. Of course it also helps that the musicians in question include the great emerging talents: the Nicaraguan pianist Darwin Noguera, the trumpeter James Zollar who comes to the music in a mighty blast of wind and the glorious vocal talent Kat Gang, who voices Billy Strayhorn’s ‘Lush Life’ as you may have never heard before.

Of course the magic wand of Chembo Corniel is all over this music. He is a brilliant amalgam of Latin folksong, the improvisational aspects of jazz and more, all rolled into a showcase for his expressive sound and acrobatic chops. The Chembo Corniel Quintet is also blessed to have as its woodwinds/reed player, Frank Fontaine, who shapes the melodies with a physical and emotional intensity and a beautiful warm glow. There is never a false note throughout Fontaine’s playing and this is probably why all it takes are his horns to provide the album with a chamber-like sound.

Wilson ‘Chembo’ Corniel’s discography as leader may be thin compared with that of other percussionists in: Latin-Jazz. But it is memorable and potent and quite impossible to put out of mind when you have experienced it even for the first time. Small wonder why Corniel is one of the first call percussionists in the Latin-Jazz scene – certainly on the entire Eastern seaboard of the United States. This album is proof of many things, chief among them that Corniel’s is a voice that simply cannot be ignored.

Track List: Descendants; El Antillano; Transparent Souls; Lush Life; Night Letter; Bottom’s Up; Parisian Cha; Newtown.

Personnel: Wilson ‘Chembo’ Corniel: tumbadores, batá (Itotele), cow bell, miscellaneous percussion; Frank Fontaine: tenor and soprano saxophones, flute; Darwin Noguera: piano; Ian Stewart: electric bass; Joel E. Mateo: drums; Kat Gang: vocal (4); James Zollar: trumpet (1, 5, 7); Benjamin Sutin: violin (3); Victor Rendon: batá (Iya) (1), quijada (7); Cascadu: batá (Okonkolo) (1); Yasuyo Kimura: cajón base (8); Kan Yanabe: cajón repicodor (8).

Label: American Showplace Music ASM 3108
Release date: April 2016
Running time: 48:17
Website: chembocorniel.com
Buy album on: amazon

Raul Da Gama
Raul Da Gama
Based in Milton, Ontario, Canada, Raul is a poet, musician and an accomplished critic whose profound analysis is reinforced by his deep understanding of music, technically as well as historically.

More from author

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts

11,395FansLike
1,607FollowersFollow
656FollowersFollow
1,857FollowersFollow
5,694FollowersFollow
165SubscribersSubscribe

Featured Posts

Omar Sosa’s 88 Well-Tuned Drums: A Film by Soren Sorensen

Anyone approaching this film about the iconic Cuban composer and pianist Omar Sosa, by the award-winning filmmaker Soren Sorensen will be almost immediately struck...

Danilo Pérez featuring The Global Messengers: Crisálida

Danilo Pérez began forming his worldview - and aligning his music to it - ever since he came under the sphere of influence of...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part II)

Miguelo Valdés & The New Messengers Of Feeling Miguel Valdés, or “Miguelo”, as he has since become known, was born in the province of La...

The Feeling Messengers, Past and Present (Part I)

Preamble Within the current renaissance of popular Cuban music, coupled with the seemingly eternal presence of its first cousin American Jazz, we are once again...

In Conversation with Carlos Cippelletti

Pianist, composer and arranger Carlos Cippelletti, is a promising young Spanish, Franco-Cuban artist from the last generation of Afro-Cuban jazz musicians born outside the...

Celebrating Jane Bunnett: Spirits of Havana’s 30th Anniversary

After dark they gather, the spirits of Havana. Is that a ghostly, but fatback-toned rapping down in the barrio where the great composer and...

Piazzolla Cien Años: Lord of the Tango@100

There is a now famous photograph of the great Ástor Piazzolla that is iconic for so many reasons. Chief among them is the manner...

Omara Portuondo, Multifaceted Gem of Cuban Music

My moon app announces that in 14 hours the Supermoon of May will be here. During a full moon I often get inspired to...

Ray Barretto · Barretto Power

Barretto Power: A Celebratory Reissue on its 50th Anniversary It was 1970 when Fania Records released Barretto Power, one of a series of seminal albums...

El Gran Fellové: Part 3- When my Parents…

When my parents bought their home in 1968, Sunset Beach was just another sleepy little beach town It spanned about one mile in length, sandwiched...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more