Archive for the ‘ Salsa ’ Category

Thomas Motter – Somewhere Out There

German keyboard genius Thomas Motter has always followed his own path in creating music of the finest vibrant quality. His albums No Return (2005), Nite Angel (2006), High (2012) and Lost & Loved (2013) are spectacular occasions of sounds. Somewhere Out There (2016) is the next level of musical evolution.

The album is enriched by an elite group of musicians. Ralf Gustke, Rodney Holmes and Camille Gainer Jones (drums), Larry Kimpel, Nathan East, Victor Bailey, Francis Hylton, Alvin Mills and Dany Martinez (bass), Bill Evans, Keith Anderson, Nathan Crosse (saxophones), Kalle Knecht (loops), Nene Vasquez, Dalma Lima (percussion), Greg Pena (trombone), Ebo Shakoor (flute), Kirt Dallaway (trumpet) are listed in the liner notes. In addition a large gathering of singers decorates the album.

While Bill Evans hits on his own albums the rock vibe, he lives on Your Smile the contemporary jazz dream. The impressive tune offers space for two guitar solos by Jimi Wilkes and Danny Martinez. With an deceptively subtle artistic sense of harmonic movement vocalists Angie Brown and Eric Conley make Call & Response 1 to a bluesy event.

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Grupo X – Songs from Our Latin Soul: The Best of Grupo X

Grupo X were formed in London in 1997 by trombonist and composer Jonny Enright. Their style is defined as Latin Soul Jazz developed in the sizzling brew at London’s Jazz Cafe. X-Posure (2001), Food For Your Latin Soul (2006), Grupo X Remixed (2008) and As Hills Go By (2011) are their first releases.

Current members of the group are Lisa Millett (vocals), Jonny Enright (trombone), Finn Peters (sax/flute), Sean Corby (trumpet/flugelhorn), Simon Edwards (bass), Al MacSween (piano), Olly Drew (guitar), Jim Le Messurier (drums/timbales), Pete Eckford (congas), Dave Pattman (bongos/percussion).

Their new album Songs from Our Latin Soul: The Best of Grupo X is a collection of their writing and recording from the start to present day. The album kicks off with Brand New Love, a song released in 2001 on the debut album X-Posure. Combine the best of Incognito and Brand New Heavies and you get the direction this album is going. In earlier time this sound was called acid jazz but with a Latin percussion approach in the style of Snowboy. With three members in the percussion corner the group has a dominant rhythm part, the horn section is also distinctive with excellent solo players.

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Ritmos Unidos – Ritmos Unidos

It’s a carnival atmosphere as eight-time Grammy nominee Michael Spiro leads Ritmos Unidos on Ritmos Unidos (Patois Records, 2014).

The group consists of Spiro, congas, bata, hand percussion; Jeremy Allen, upright and electric bass; Jamaal Baptiste, piano and keyboards; Joe Galvin, steel pans, bata, hand percussion and background vocals; Pat Harbison, trumpet; Nate Johnson, tenor saxophone and background vocals; Mike Mixtacki, drums, timbales, bata and lead vocals; and Joel Tucker, guitar and tres guitar. Special guests are trombonist Wayne Wallace, who heads the Patois label, steel pan artist Liam Teague and marimba specialist Kevin Bobo.

“Ritmos Unidos,” penned by Wallace and Spiro, gets the party started. With one of the pans out front part of the way, the percussive play and horns are the highlights of this track, as they are throughout the set. The celebration is evident during the vocal call and response sequence, which overlaps Wallace’s throaty trombone solo. Guitar, trumpet, sax, bass and piano also get their licks in.

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G’s Way – Seventy Seven

The Parisian group G’s Way consists of Gérald “GG” Bonnegrace (percussions, trumpet, trombone, keys, bamboo flute), Thierry “JP Groov” Jean-Pierre (bass), Stefane Goldman (guitar ), Sylvain “Sly” Fetis (tenor and baritone saxophone) and Christian Templet (drums).

This French project is created and leaded by Gérald “GG” Bonnegrace, composer and musician. He also composed and arranged all tracks of the debut album Seventy Seven (2012). This album is available on his website. Quiet unusual is also the fact, that the album can be listened in full length at this site. So the listener can really check out, what he gets.

Gérald cites his influences with Ray Baretto, Eumir Deodato, Fela Kuti, Grover Washington Jr and many others, what is from the stylistic view very broad.

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Susie Hansen – Representante de la Salsa

For 20 years, violinist Susie Hansen has led one of Southern California’s more popular Latin bands. She and the gang “aim for the feet” with Representante de la Salsa on Jazz Caliente.

The band consists of Hansen on electric violin and vocals; George Balmaseda and Kaspar Abbo on vocals; David Stout on trombone; Tim Messina on tenor sax and flute; Joe Rotondi on piano; Rene Camacho on bass and background vocal; Jimmy Branly on timbales; Joe De Leon on congas; and Ricardo “Tiki” Pasillas on bongo and hand percussion. Co-producer Erich Bulling also appears as background vocalist.

The title song starts things off. Balmaseda sings lead, with ample backing by Hansen, Camacho and Bulling. After a few rounds of the voices, Hansen solos on the electric violin. She then blends with the horn section on the middle break. The percussionists contribute to the Latin flavor.

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