Bennett Paster and Gregory Ryan: Grupo Yanqui (2002)
Somehow these young New York guys seem to never let you down. On Grupo Yanqui (are they the anti-Grupo Mets?) leaders Bennett Paster and Gregory Ryan showcase their hip, cerebral, groovy originals and two standards in a series of fine and energetic performances. Ryan's "Miller Time" is a hard Latin Funk groove with an interesting and intelligent line and neat solos all around. Paster's "Mona Se Queda" is a tight Wayne Shorter-ish thing with a really hip minor chord sequence, and the band really takes this one somewhere - into a controlled frenzy in the solos before returning to the subtle line before freaking out again at the end. It's into the cabaret or ballroom of your choice for "How Are Things In Gloccamora?", as the fellas cha-cha this one up quite nicely. Paster's "Fantasy" is a showcase for his understanding of harmony, dynamics and tension and resolution and how they relate to composition. Very well done, as is this entirely refreshing recording. The group shows their sense of humor on the Bebo Valdes closer "Cactus Mambo".
Track Listing: 1. Miller Time (Ryan) 2. Mona Se Queda (Paster) 3. How Are Things In Gloccamora (Harburg/Lane; arr.:Paster/ Terry) 4. Elna (Paster) 5. Storytime (Ryan) 6. Fantasy (Paster) 7. Tema para Yosvany (Paster) 8. May Eye (Ryan) 9. Que Venga el Dia (Paster) 10. Oaktown Morning Blues (Paster) 11. Cactus Mambo (Bebo Valdes) Copyright Control
Personnel: Bennett Paster, p, Gregory Ryan, b, Rob Garcia, d, Yosvanny Terry Cabrera, s, Chris Cheek, s, Dafnis Prieto, perc, Gilad, perc