As if he knew the day would come when the United States would normalize relations with Cuba, six-time Grammy nominee Wayne Wallace celebrates the deepening cultural connection between the two nations. Intercambio (Patois Records, 2015) brings the Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet together with several additional players.
Wallace is a composer, producer, arranger, trombonist and head of the Patois label. The rest of the quintet are David Belove, bass; Colin Douglas, trap drums, timbales and percussion; Murray Low, piano; and Michael Spiro, congas, bongo, percussion and arrangements. Guest artists who appear here and there are Mary Fetig, flute; Mads Tolling, Jenna Barghouti and Joy Vucekovich, violin; Benjamin Wagner, viola; Graham Cullen, cello; Joe Galvin, steel drum and percussion; Dan Coffman, Brennan Johns and Sean Weber, trombone; and Edgardo Cambon, Jesus Diaz and John Santos, vocals.
“Casa Del Sol” opens the set. With Fetig and Tolling adding some depth, it’s a stylish mambo piece, dedicated to Eddie Palmieri. As described in the liner notes, the music reflects Palmieri’s love for the cross-cultural effects of Cuban music with McCoy Tyner, Thelonious Monk and jazz. The rhythm section is a centerpiece throughout, but Tolling and Wallace get moments to stretch out a bit.