John Benítez: Purpose

John Benitez - Purpose

Eclectic might be a good word to describe the music on Purpose. This is the new release by Puerto Rican Grammy Award winning bass player John Benítez. The music is a reflection of the diversity of influences in Jazz today. Jazz nowadays has influences not only from Cuba, but also from Puerto Rico, South America, and music from all around the world.

The title track “Purpose” changes from a modern jazz intro, to a funk beat, into Latin jazz in just the first two minutes. “The Return” has a more relaxed, moderate funky feel, with good improvisations by Mike Rodríguez on trumpet and Manuel Valera on piano. The tempo slows down for the contemplative ballad “Pureza”. The warm and welcoming tone of Will Vinson on saxophone shine through on this one.

No doubt Benítez is one of the best and most sought out bass players in Jazz today, but besides his always impeccable technique, Purpose also showcases Benítez talent as a composer. Seven out of the nine tracks were written by him, including the contagious rhythms of “Rumba”, the funk/rock/fusion of “Seed”, the son cubano “Yagrumo” and the Bomba influenced “Bomba lírica” (bomba is a folk music from Puerto Rico).

Track Listing: 1. Purpose; 2. The Return; 3. Pureza; 4. YL; 5. Rumba; 6. Seed; 7. Yagrumo; 8. Inspiracion; 9. Bomba Lírica

Personnel: John Benítez: bass; Manuel Valera: piano; Tom Guarna: guitar; Will Vinson: alto sax; Francis Benítez: drums; Mike Rodríguez: trumpet; Pedro Martínez, Víctor Cruz: percussion.

Label: Seed Music | Release date: June 2011

Website: | Buy music on: amazon

Wilbert Sostre
Wilbert Sostre
Member of the Jazz Journalist Association since 2010. Member of the Ponce International Jazz Festival Commitee. Studied music and guitar, 1985-86. Music studies at the University of Puerto Rico and the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico, 1986-1990.

More from author


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Related posts

Featured Posts

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...

Pablo Ziegler: The Pianist That Caresses Our Listening

"Tango is a musical style that must constantly evolve and not be some ridiculous folklore to lure tourists" - Astor Piazzolla The celebrated Argentinian pianist...

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...

El Gran Fellové: Part 2- Enter Chocolate & Celio González

Early Sunday morning… I awoke to the pleasant surprise of a Google Alert in my email. I clicked to find Variety Magazine had published an...

Join our mailing list

Participate in contests, giveaways and more