Published since 1997
Jim Santella has been contributing CD reviews, concert reviews and DVD reviews to AAJ since 1997. His work has also appeared in Southland Blues, The L.A. Jazz Scene, and Cadence Magazine.
It's been almost two decades already for Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, which continues to excite with its fiery blend of Latin flavors and improvised adventure. The trumpeter pushes hard and teams well with saxophonist Joe Ford to communicate fluently. Gonzalez, Ford, Larry Willis, Steve Berrios, and Andy Gonzalez have been doing this together long enough that they've become quite cohesive.
The band's title composition, "Rumba Buhaina, puts them all together in a mesmerizing up-tempo affair. Here, Gonzalez uses the conga drums to relate to the Afro-Caribbean tradition, while Ford stretches out with an exotic tale on soprano. Willis' new ballad "The Day You Said Goodbye moves slowly with heartfelt concern as soprano, piano, and drums pare it down for a lovely spell. "Ask Me Now is performed alone by trumpet, bass, and piano in Miles-like soliloquy.
The remainder of the program marries the tradition of Latin jazz with the music that Art Blakey brought us. Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band have honored the spirit while interpreting these songs in their own way.
Track Listing: Along Came Betty; Crisis; This is for Albert; Up Jumped Spring; Madi's Smile; Wildflower; United; The Day You Said Goodbye; One by One; Rumba Buhaina; Ask Me Now.
Personnel: Jerry Gonzalez: trumpet, flugelhorn, congas, percussion; Joe Ford: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Larry Willis: piano; Andy Gonzalez: bass; Steve Berrios: drums, percussion.
Record Label: Random Chance Records
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