Michel Camilo: Live at the Blue Note (2004)
Although he's ventured into classical, world beat and film music in the past, Camilo is a jazz artist at heart. On his new two-disc Telarc release, recorded live during a six-night run at the Blue Note last year, the Dominican-born pianist is joined by a first-rate Cuban rhythm section of Charles Flores on bass and Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez on drums. Together, they stretch out on a set of mostly Camilo originals (plus Kenny Dorham's "Blue Bossa" and a clever take on the '50s Latin rock standard "Tequila") that clocks in at 2 hours and 15 minutes; but the energy and momentum of the recording rarely sags, save for a few too many ballads bunched together at the top of the first disc.
Camilo, who performed at last month's IAJE Conference, is at his most dazzling on the up-tempo numbers, like "On the Other Hand," "In Walked Sammy," "This Way Out," and the aptly titled "On Fire," which combine Latin jazz, bebop, blues and funk ingredients into a tasty organic stew. His artistry also shines on the slower tunes, like "Twilight Glow" and "Thinking of You," where his classical sensibilities come to the fore. Taken as a whole, Camilo and company have made what is easily one of the best piano trio albums to come along in a while.
This review originally appeared in AllAboutJazz-New York .
Track Listing: 1. Cocowalk (Camilo) - 6:12 2. Two of a Kind (Camilo) - 6:53 3. Hello & Goodbye (Camilo) - 8:42 4. The Magic in You (Camilo) - 9:02 5. Tequila (Rio) - 4:50 6. Dichotomy (Camilo) - 7:58 7. Twilight Glow (Camilo) - 8:43 8. Happy Birthday/Blue Bossa (Dorham/Hill/Hill) - 3:53 9. This Way Out (Camilo) - 10:56 10. On the Other Hand (Camilo) - 6:42 11. Mongo's Blues (Camilo) - 6:52 12. Thinking of You (Camilo) - 9:09 13. At Night (To Frank) (Camilo) - 6:14 14. Why Not! (Camilo) - 8:26 15. Silent Talk (Camilo) - 6:29 16. See You Later (Camilo) - 6:22 17. And Sammy Walked In (Camilo) - 6:35 18. On Fire (Camilo) - 13:02
Personnel: Michel Camilo - Piano; Horacio "El Negro" Hern
Record Label: Telarc Records