As a trombonist, Mark Weinstein was a seminal part of the '60s Latin jazz revolution that combined the complexities of jazz with traditional AfroCuban rhythms. His CubanRoots
(Musicor, 1967) with Chick Corea on piano remains one of the most significant Latin jazz fusions of all time. As a flutist he has continued to redefine the genre and he views Jazzheads as an atmosphere that encourages freedom and experimentation: "Randy is incredibly supportive and a source of sound musical and business advice. Having a record company owner who is a friend to his artists is rare in music, but part of a tradition in jazz that has been lost... Randy is always willing to support artistic risk-taking." Weinstein's three Jazzheads releases present very different takes on the Latin jazz idiom. As Weinstein tells it, "I am most influenced by sax and trumpet players. Although I sometimes address the flute tradition in my solos, my influences are Coltrane and Miles. After Algo Mas
(2005), which is an avant-garde folkloric album and O Nosso Amor
(2006), which is a Brazilian jazz albumI wanted to give Randy something that would fit in the mainstream of Latin jazz [the forthcoming release Con Alma
Offering broader exposure for cutting edge projects is also a part of the Jazzheads mission and three of their strongest offerings are from percussionist Marlon Simon and the Nagual Spirits, saxophonist Rent Romus and Lords of the Outland and percussionist Ian Dogole and Hemisphere. Simon, through a brilliant blending of African rhythms and beautifully-arranged strings, has created a new and elegant take on the Latin jazz tradition entitled In Case You Missed It
(chosen as one of 2007's Best Latin Jazz Releases
). Romus, playing alto and soprano saxophones, at times concurrently, lets it all hang out live on You'll Never Be The Same!
(1995) and partners with avant-garde godfather saxophonist John Tchicai for Adapt...or Die!
(2004). Dogole, utilizing diverse percussive instruments, multireedists Paul McCandless and Sheldon Brown with bassist Bill Douglass, places Mid-Eastern, Eastern and Eastern-European musical traditions within a jazz framework to fashion a contemporary global musical statement. Reflective of its NYC base and Klein's overall commitment to superb sound and musicianship Jazzheads continues to release some of the finest contemporary improvisatory music across a wide array of jazz genres.
Read more Jazzheads reviews at All About Jazz.