How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Deep Rumba’s first album, This Night Becomes A Rumba, was recorded almost three years ago. The group has remained intact and they’ve continued to perform before appreciative audiences. Their mission also remains the same: to carry on the Afro-Cuban tradition while updating with contemporary concepts. As with their first album, Deep Rumba again features solo tracks and highly conversant episodes. After all, this music is all about communication. They’ve added Charles Neville, who instills more straight-ahead jazz to the session. He and Andy Gonzalez trade throughout the album. Neville adds a lyrical, dreamier quality – the Calm in the album’s title. On “Charles and Andy Discuss the Science of Voodoo and the Voodoo of Science” we find a blend of New Orleans soul and Havana tradition. With more “conversing,” percussionists Horacio Hernandez and Giovanni Hidalgo trade on “Giovannito,” while a forward leaning “Sugar and Cotton” represents the band’s contemporary focus. The arrangement blends two drum sets, traditional Cuban singing, electric bass and electronic keyboard. “Arabian Nights” better represents the ensemble’s strength, as acoustic bass, tasteful drummers, two congueros and Neville’s lyrical tenor paint an impression. Solo tracks such as Xiomara Lougart’s soulful “Besame Mucho,” Neville’s dreamy “Cubana” ballad and Hidalgo’s conguero “Kip Quest” represent the spiritual nature of this music. Highly recommended for its ability to effectively combine the old and the new, Deeper Rumba/A Calm In The Fire Of Dances opens doors for Afro-Cuban jazz all over the world.
Track Listing: Cubana; Medley: Robby and Negro Opening Time
Personnel: Charles Neville- tenor saxophone; Alfredo Triff- violin; Charlie Flores- electric bass; Andy Gonzalez- acoustic bass; Robby Ameen- drums, percussion; Horacio Hernandez- drums, keyboards, congas, sticks, percussion; Amadito Valdez- timbales; Richie Flores, Paoli Mejias, Ramon Diaz- congas; Giovanni Hidalgo- sticks, congas, percussion; Abraham Rodriguez- claves, coro; Xiomara Lougart, Orlando Rios, Velibor Pedevski, Haila Monpie, Pedro Martinez- vocals.