Bridging the gap between Afro-Cuban jazz and modern jazz, Harvie S issues ten original pieces and one classic standard in support of the argument that Latin jazz consists of equal parts Latin and jazz.
The leader’s 1996 visit to Cuba offered him the opportunity to study with masters in the field. Politics aside, that cultural blend has to be nurtured. A large body of musical veterans resides in Havana, and remains inaccessible to many outside the country. Leaders such as Harvie S are ensuring that this cultural link never fades.
The veteran jazz bassist leads his sextet with a strong hand. With a firm grip, he plucks melodies and bass lines for the ensemble to follow. Saxophonist Scott Robert Avidon and pianist Daniel Kelly provide a cohesive front line.
”Curved Corners” veers from the usual program and explores pure blues roots. The piece features Avidon in a raucous display of his down-to-earth passion. Recorded before a live audience, this piece gives the listener the feeling of having been there. Yes, we’ve all been there. The saxophonist gives way to pianist Kelly, who surges forward with support from a powerful bass line. He builds and builds. The blues has been driven home, while the audience rocks fervently.
”Monk’s Mood” and the final piece are offered as lilting, solo bass excursions. Elsewhere, the leader shares several solo sections, where his superior technique is on display. The upper register melodies that he carries swiftly apace remain perfectly in tune, and leave indelibly high marks: both for his soulfulness and for his precision.
As he leads his sextet in Latin jazz celebration through a part of the album, Harvie S emphasizes an ensemble sound. Trumpet and saxophone blend casually, as their voices unite in festive surroundings.
Employing equal parts Latin and jazz, Harvie S gives us an eclectic session that reminds us of the cultural bridges that exist; bridges that no political edict can ever remove completely.
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Personnel: Harvie S- acoustic bass; Daniel Kelly- piano; Adam Weber- drums; Renato Thoms- percussion; Scott Robert Avidon- tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone; Gregory Rivkin- trumpet.