Published since 1997
Jim Santella has been contributing CD reviews, concert reviews and DVD reviews to AAJ since 1997. His work has also appeared in Southland Blues, The L.A. Jazz Scene, and Cadence Magazine.
So Latin tinge it is. And it’s as obvious here as it is in most jazz circles. Take out the congas and there’s still a Latin beat. Levine includes in his arrangements rumba, chá chá chá, danzón, timba, songo, mambo and straight-ahead elements. Audio samples for "Airegin," "My One and Only Love" and "You and the Night and the Music" are available at the pianist’s web site .
As a piano-led ensemble, the unit features lovely piano counterpoint throughout. Levine’s technique is not choppy and percussive, but instead relies on a fluid, lyrical approach. Even his montunos lay back and avoid the fire these dance steps sometimes demand. Everyone solos, and the session remains smooth but creative. On "You and the Night" and "Without a Song," for example, the pianist adds a few unexpected keyboard figures as an added thought. Levine’s session is creative, acoustic music from the mainstream, and his Latin tinge assists in spicing up the performance.
Track Listing: You and the Night and the Music; Jean Marie; Airegin; Hey, It
Personnel: Mark Levine- piano; Peter Barshay- bass; Paul Van Wageningen- drums; Michael Spiro- congas, shakers, guiro, wood block, cowbell.
Record Label: Left Coast Clave Records
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