Victor Rendón & Bronx Conexión Latin Jazz Band · True Flight

Victor Rendón has often flown slightly under the populist radar. It has been quite another matter among his peers and among discerning listeners, the cognoscenti and connoisseurs of fine music. There is very good reason why. Rendón is a musician’s musician. He has impeccable taste and because he is a performer of such a varied assortment of percussion instruments he is a colourist of the highest order not only bringing forth a myriad of vibrant colours in all of their primal glory, but because he can colour his music with nuanced tone and hue. This is evident in his masterful grasp of the bolero, which he plays as if he were a sorcerer.

Rendón is a complete musician. His compositions tell you that. He is master of many forms and on True Flight you get the full impact of this from end to end. He has, admittedly, brought only two charts to the recording and yet these are revelation. ‘True Flight’ is a composition with a silken glide. Here percussion colours are daubed by rhythmic dabs of the artist in the throes of ecstasy, while brass and woodwinds create the updraft of swirling air which lifts every note as if in offering to the Orishas. ‘Café Sin Leche’ is more down to earth and while it begins with a somewhat simplistic melody, the music is raised to a great height by the time the music reaches halfway through. Other musicians have also contributed greatly to the recording and ‘Lagos’ stands out as perhaps the finest tune here. Written by trombonist Rick Faulkner, it is a dark, imaginative tune with a beautiful melody lain upon a dramatic bed of batá drums.

True Flight is one of those albums that will rev up the blood-beat of even the casual listener to a dancing frenzy. This is the other interesting aspect of the performance of the Bronx Conexión Latin-Jazz Band. Many albums might end on a sort of ‘down-beat’ having created a sensationally vigorous beginning and middle. Rendón and Cascadu do the unexpected with a wonderful arrangement of Bob Marley’s ‘No Woman, No Cry’, the latter laying the groundwork for the finale with a beautiful rhythm-only propulsion at the beginning followed by Rendón’s superb horn arrangement to bring the song and the album to a memorable close.

Track List – True Flight; Generoso; Café Sin Leche; Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile); Buena Gente; Island Woman; Oriente; Lagos; No Woman, No Cry.

Personnel – Victor Rendón: timbales, batá (Iya), shekere, quijada, frog rasp, rainstick; Wilson ‘Chembo’ Corniel: congas, batá (Itotele), campaña, woodblocks, clave, ocean drum; Cascadu: shekere, cajón base, batá (Okonkolo), pandeiro, cuica, triangle, cricket, tan-tan, shakers, frog rasp, woodblocks, wind chimes, pads, rainstick, miscellaneous percussion, vocals (6, 9); Yasuyo Kimura: bongo and cancero, shekere, guataca, shaker, cajón, repicodor, frog rasp, agogo; Ron Smith: drum set; Jessica Valente: flute; Al Acosta: alto saxophone; Debra Kreisberg: alto saxophone, clarinet; Joe Stelluti: tenor saxophone, flute; Chris Stelluti: tenor saxophone, flute; Karl Watson: baritone saxophone, clarinet; Anibal Martinez: trumpet, flugelhorn; Guido Gonzalez: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Replogle: trumpet, flugelhorn; Rick Faulkner: trombone; Joe Mannozzi: piano; Ray Martinez: bass; Claudio Roditi: trumpet solos (3, 8); Jennifer Freedman: background vocal (9); Johnny Rodriguez: bongo (2, 4, 7); Jorge Maldonado: maracas and güiro (2, 4, 7); Lew Tabackin: tenor saxophone solo (5); Lou Marini: tenor saxophone (6).

Released – 2016
Label – Tortilla Flat
Runtime – 54:33

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

11,430FansLike
1,540FollowersFollow
656FollowersFollow
1,850FollowersFollow
5,700FollowersFollow
160SubscribersSubscribe

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