T.K. Blue: Latin Bird (2011)
Blue throws in a couple of Parker-related tunes not typically thought of in the Latin vein. "'Round Midnight," one of Blue's favorite ballads, is present and performed straight, for the most part. Blue's spontaneous introduction melts into the familiar melody, joined by bassist Essiet Essiet in an extended duet improvised freelynot Latin, perhaps, but superb nevertheless. "Donna Lee" is played with something less than the fury of Parker, floating on a sea of Guerrero's samba percussion; a successful translation, with zero loss of musicianship.
The percussion-heavy "Barbados" comes off light as a feather, Parker's clever and complex lines rolling effortlessly from Blue's horn. "Steeplechase" struts with a Latin infusion of Thelonious Monk, angular and craggy. The original "Moods of Parker" is a straight and earthy blues, an idiom in which Blue is most comfortable. "He Flew Away Too Soon" is a lonesome solo alto ballad, developed patiently by Blue, and a perfect foil to the perky closing blues, "Buzzy."
Blue is well-equipped for such a recital, making Latin Bird a most exciting and satisfying disc.
Track Listing: Chi Chi; Si Si; Visa; Bluebird; Round Midnight; Barbados; Steeplechase Moods of Parker; Donna Lee; He Flew Away Too Soon; Buzzy.
Personnel: T.K. Blue: composer, arranger, alto saxophone and flute; Steve Turré: shells and trombone (1, 2, 4); Lewis Nash: trap drums (5, 8, 10); Theo Hill: piano; Essiet Okon Essiet: acoustic and electric bass; Willie Martinez: trap drums (1-4, 6-9); Roland Guerrero: congas and percussion (1-4, 6-9).
Record Label: Motema Music