Trombonist/composer/arranger Papo Vazquez, along with his group Pirates Troubadours, has just unleashed Carnival in San Juan, a multifaceted celebration which captures the spirit of its title. And the title cut is quite an opening statement. Vazquez’ solo bursts with rapid-fire phrases, and tenor man Willie Williams follows with a rollicking upper register attack. Pianist Arturo O’Farrill plays his solo at the same tempo but with the feelings of an observer, not a participant. The percussion of Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez, Roberto and Tito Cepeda, and Joe Gonzalez keep the rhythm going full speed ahead. “Mondo Bizarro” is a ...read more
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