Internationally renowned bandleader, conguero, and percussionist, Ray Barretto and his ensemble New World Spirit continue their tradition of jazz excellence on Contact!. Released in 1997 on Blue Note/EMI, their fifth CD is a conscious break from the dance-oriented Ray Barretto Orchestra many of his fans may remember in that Contact! explores the deeply personal musical relationships throughout the phases of Barretto's career. Songs masterfully syncretized and utilizing Barretto's unique musical vocabulary including call-and-response, cubop rhythms and 4/4 swing the 10-track - CD ignites a sensual fire on "Dance of Denial,"a melodic, mid-tempo piece that showcases brilliant solos by Michael Philip Mossman on trumpet, Adam Kolker on saxophone, and John Di Martino on piano. The incomparable Barretto adds finality to the piece with a polyrhythmic statement that represents the conguero at his finest. As deep and enjoyable as each piece is, what gives the CD its impact is the vehement delivery by Barretto which portrays the profound impressions left by his musical mentors and his revolutionary development as a result of their influence. He introduces a facet of this influence on "La Bendicion" and "Liberated Spirit," both original compositions by Barretto that focus the listener on the dynamic forces surrounding his imagination. Jazz definitely receives the respect it deserves at the hands of this jazz linguist. Let there be no doubt that Ray Barretto is a master that fully comprehends his craft and is strongly deserving of the critical and popular acclaim he is receiving.
TRACK LISTINGS:Moss Code, Caravan, Serenata, Dance Of Denial, Poinciana, Point Of Contact/Punto De Contacto, La Bendicion, Liberated Spirit, The Summer Knows, Sister Sadie
PERSONNEL:RAY BARRETTO, congas, percussion; ADAM KOLKER, tenor, soprano saxophones; MICHAEL PHILIP MOSSMAN, trumpet, trombone; JOHN DI MARTINO, piano; JAIRO MORENO, bass; HANS GLAWISHNIG, bass (on 3& 5); VINCE CHERICO, drums; RAY VEGA, percussion.