Archive for the ‘ Latin Jazz ’ Category

Rique Pantoja – Live In Los Angeles

liveinlaMulti-talented jazz pianist and keyboardist Rique Pantoja performed a concert at the Gallery Theater, Hollywood, Los Angeles together with Steve Tavaglione (sax, flute), Jimmy Earl (bass), Joel Taylor (drums), Ricardo Silveira (guitar), Cassio Duarte (percussion). This live event was recorded by Geoff Gillette and initial released in 2001.

Moondo Music has re-issued this recordings in a re-mastered version in April, 2022. The repertoire of this concert is based on Pantoja’s original compositions from his previous releases. The album opens with Arpoador. In Portuguese that means harpooner. It’s also the name of a small peninsula in Rio de Janeiro, where Pantoja grew up.

Pantoja develops a great Brazilian sound painting from a small motif. A concept, by the way, that he took from his mentor, legendary trumpeter Chat Baker. On the synthesizer, his virtuosity explodes into incredible cascades of sound comparable to Joe Zawinul’s jazz fusion excursions. Ricardo Silveira takes the brilliant solo on the electric guitar, as it is hard to beat. This is followed by an ecstatic drum and percussion solo.

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Canelita Sabrosa – Canelita Sabrosa

SabrosaSerial entrepreneur Chris Nettuno isn’t merely a music patron; he’s a member of the band. And when the COVID-19 lockdown threatened the livelihood of his group of full-time studio musicians and sidemen, the conga player found a way to keep the music playing. Those weekly porch concerts not only kept the musicians afloat but became the lifeblood of the debut album from the multicultural band Canelita Sabrosa. The Atlanta-based unit’s self-titled set, produced by five-time Grammy winner Dru Castro (India.Aire, Usher, Childish Gambino) along with the band’s two-time Grammy-winning guitarist Julio Miranda and drummer Chunky Sounds, drops May 20 on the band’s Canelita Sabrosa Records label.

During the first few months of the pandemic, Nettuno invited the band over to play in his family room. After a few songs, they heard applause coming from outside the house. Neighbors had gathered and asked the group to perform outside. The eight-piece outfit that blends Latin, jazz, R&B, funk and rock was happy to oblige the following week. Word spread quickly and soon hundreds of people began flocking to the weekly Friday night shows. A local television reporter was in the audience, which led to a segment on Atlanta’s CBS affiliate. The grassroots buzz inspired Canelita Sabrosa to record an album featuring a mix of the popular cover tunes that populate their live setlist along with five original songs composed by Miranda and a pair of songs written by vocalist-rhythm guitarist Kenny Nettuno and his son, KJ Nettuno.

Canelita Sabrosa, which means tasty cinnamon in Spanish, is a name selected to reflect the group’s multiethnic makeup as well as the multicultural stylings they incorporate into their world music amalgam. Colorful Puerto Rican, Afro Cuban, Brazilian and Caribbean nuances intermingle with improvised jazz explorations and rock god guitar pyrotechnics. Anchored by thick percussive salsa, samba and bossa nova beats constructed by Sounds, Chris Nettuno and percussionist Frankie Quinones, Miranda issues piercing lead guitar riffs and scorching solos seasoned by Kenny Nettuno’s spicy rhythms and sweet melodies. As bassist Matt Stallard carves deep-pocketed grooves, the dynamic three-man horn section – trumpeter Justin Powell, saxophonist EJ Hughes and sax/flutist Mac Isseks – douses the tracks with fire and fervor. Adding to the project’s pedigree is four-time Grammy-winning engineer Ralph Cacciurri (Coldplay, OutKast, P!nk).

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Ivana Muscoso, Mario Mazzaro, Salvatore Rainone – Vivo Sonhando

MUSCOSO BOOKLET.inddWhen Ivana Muscoso started a collaboration with Neapolitan bassist and double bassist Mario Mazzaro in 2019, and his beautiful arrangement ideas, she started playing Jobim like never before.

Indeed, this CD is entirely devoted to the songs of the late Antonio Carlos Jobim (the architect of Brazilian bossa nova), and Ivana Muscoso (piano, keyboards and voice), Mario Mazzaro (bass & double bass) and Salvatore Rainone (drums ) recorded it at the Smile studios in Naples.

Jobim’s songs are updated somewhat, and interspersed with arrangements with atmospheres borrowed from Afro-American music, sometimes suspended, sometimes surprisingly funky, soulful and jazzy.

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Sergio Pereira – Finesse

FinesseBrazilian guitarist & singer Sergio Pereira will release his third album tomorrow, on the Spanish label Sedajazz Records. Born in Rio de Janeiro, he started playing acoustic guitar at the age of eight.

Later on, Sergio was influenced by bossa nova giants such as Joao Gilberto, Tom Jobim, Carlos Lyra, Joao Donato, Marcos Valle etc. During the 1980s he moved to New York and studied with jazz greats such as Chuck Wayne, Sal Salvador, Alex Adrian, Hui Cox, and Joe Carter. He has performed all over the world since the 1990s.

This third album again reflects all the emotions, energy and dynamism he experienced growing up in Rio. It was co-produced by drummer Mauricio Zottarelli and recorded during the 2019 & 2020 pandemic. Sergio is assisted by no less than 20 musicians and brings magic, joy and positivism during these strange times.

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Aaron Aranita Eastbound – Connection

ConnectionIf, remarkably, there may still be a few astute listeners around the world who, when told of the leader of this project, still ask the question: “Aaron who…?” the answer becomes eminently clear in the fine music of this double disc package. Truth be told, the discerning cognoscenti of fine musical art and to the really knowledgeable and worldly-wise musician, Aaron Aranita has been recognized as an artist of the first order for more than three decades – a virtuoso on an array of saxophones – from his principal melodic instrument, the soprano to the gravitas of the baritone [and everything in between]; and like the saxophone, a master of the bass clarinet, a range of flutes and an authentic multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, bass guitar and percussion.

But thus halo that surrounds his instrumental capability obscures a greater truth and this is that Aranita is one of the finest revolutionaries of orchestral music, making huge advances in structure, harmony, melody and – most dramatically – in rhythm, investing every form with inexhaustible potential for expression. In fact he has – using uncommon ingenuity – refined the orchestral sound of Latin Jazz with the unique blend of deep feeling and elegance manifesting a perfect, Clare Fischeresque synthesis of form and substance.

The Eastbound double-CD project – entitled Connection  (2022) – has come an opportune moment in time, which marks a reunion with Aranita together with Anthony King and Tim Gutierrez, original alumni of the Eastbound band from 30 years ago, plus a stellar cast of other musicians. The music here is more ambitious in its orchestration than may have heard from Aranita before and really allows this sterling ensemble to show off their skills. The result is that you get performances of real character and bite, with Aranita’s innovative orchestral timbres emphasized to occasionally startling extremes sustained by a masterful phraseology; sometimes by deepening mystery and often lifted by rhapsodic dénouements. Continue reading

Cortez/Williams Project – Hermanos

Cortez-Williams Project - CD CoverGuitarist Chris Cortez and trumpeter Larry Williams may be new to you, but their musical collaboration goes back to the eighties. Chris is the owner of the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts and hasn’t released his own music since 2014. Through his work with Larry in the past, they had a huge impact on the jazz scene in Orlando, Florida.

Together they presided over several groups containing available players. And although they lost sight of each other over the years, they remained focused on music. Chris formed his record label Blue Bamboo Music, and Larry became a session player in LA. The latter announced his retirement from trumpet playing in 2012, and shifted to guitar. But when his wife died in 2020, he returned to Orlando. A dream led him to a music shop, where he bought the flugel horn he dreamed of. One thing led to another, and together with a sextet, here is their new collaboration.

The title track opens into a lush Latin atmosphere, while the relaxed ‘Melody Makes It Happen’ follows. On ‘Glorious’, Cortez’ guitar comes to the forefront, and on ‘Un Pedazo De Tu Sonrisa’ the sun shines in a slightly Brazilian atmosphere. ‘Ask Me No Questions’ is a joyful track, followed by the light breezy ‘Silhouette’.

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Ray Obiedo – Latin Jazz Project Vol. 2

ray obiedo latinRay Obiedo: Latin Jazz Project Vol. 2 on Rhythmus Records, is the 10th release by the Bay Area guitarist and composer. This project is a collection of Obiedo’s original Latin Jazz compositions, including one jazz standard by composer/arranger Gerald Wilson. Obiedo enlisted some of the music industry’s top musicians and longtime cohorts for the project. Yellowjackets’ reed man Bob Mintzer, percussionist extraordinaire Sheila E., flutist Norbert Stachel, trumpeter Mike Olmos, percussionist Peter Michael Escovedo all make significant appearances. Santana members: keyboardist David K. Mathews, trombonist and arranger Jeff Cressman, and percussionist Karl Perazzo also contribute their expertise.

This collection also features Tower of Power drummer David Garibaldi, Hungarian pianist Peter Horvath, steel pan player Phil Hawkins, vocalists Lilan Kane, Sandy Cressman & Jenny Meltzer and Dutch brothers Marc and Paul van Wageningen on bass and drums. Obiedo has 5 previous releases on the Windham Hill Jazz label. Latin Jazz Project Vol. 2 is the 4th release on his Oakland-based Rhythmus Records label. The music on Latin Jazz Project Vol. 2 is a highly-energized and rhythmically-hypnotic soundscape that reveals all the passion, flavor, color and style of the San Francisco Bay Area that nurtured and inspired Obiedo’s latest musical venture.

Buy the CD on Amazon.com.

Pete Escovedo – Rhythm of the Night

241491121_4093181084114241_6676575253244875579_nLegendary Percussionist Pete Escovedo is an artist who broke down the barriers between Smooth Jazz, Salsa, Latin Jazz and contemporary music. His name has been synonymous in the music industry for more than 50 years. Pete is known worldwide for his live performances, session work and solo albums.

As a young boy he would sit on the steps of nightclubs and watch musicians play. Music became his outlet. When he was 15 years old he began to also sketch and paint on wood or cardboard. Anything he could get his hands on, he would start to draw.

Pete did not know that his love for music and art combined would change his life forever. And this is how it began. Pete Escovedo has recorded 9 acclaimed solo albums, 2 albums with his daughter Sheila E., and the Latina Familia live album with Sheila E. and Tito Puente. The entire family has gotten together as the “E Family” to record the album “Now and Forever”, featuring Pete Escovedo, Sheila E., Juan Escovedo and Peter Michael Escovedo.

His newest album is Rhythm Of The Night (2021).

Get the CD on Amazon.com.

Jocando Latina – Jocando Latina

jocandolatinaThe Latin Jazz formation Jocando Latina consists of Alessandro La Corte (piano), Angelo Carpentieri (guitar), Paolo Pelella (bass), Carlo Salentino (drums) and Davide Cantarella (percussion). There style ranges from Latin and Contemporary Jazz to Brazilian songs. Their debut album Jocando Latina (2021) shares the title with the name of the group.

Paolo Pelella is from Naples, the other three band members are from Salerno, Italy. All of them can look back on a rich musical activity with different formations. This album is the result of their common live history over several years. The pandemic gave a chance to realize finally this project.

The opening track E.M. is dedicated to the great Italian film composer Ennio Morricone. The music is characterized by a special sinuous elegance, as we know it for example in smooth jazz from the group Fourplay. This is especially due to the dreamlike harmonic interplay of the band and the special flow of percussionist Davide Cantarella and drummer Carlo Salentino.

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Kenny Polson – Colors Of Brazil

Kenney Polson has developed a strong relationship with Brazil. After all, he lived in Rio de Janeiro for several years. Colors Of Brazil is accordingly a kind of retrospective of this period of his life and the result of the musical influences from that time. The circumstance that the relationship has not yet broken off is evident, four of the recordings on this album were made in Brazil.

Diverse as his music is also the nature of the international musical cast. With the exception of harpist Mariea Antoinette, the musicians listed are not household names from the smooth jazz scene. Please refer to the credits for more details.

The album opens with Aquarela Do Brazil (Colors of Brazil) written by Ary Barroso in 1939 which commonly became a global hit in the Western world under the title Brazil. Kenny takes the tempo out of the samba piece and lets the whole thing go very relaxed. Perhaps this is more the reflection of today’s serene lifestyle.

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