Tony Succar: Tony Succar y Mixtura: De One Live Sessions, Vol. 1 (2013)
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Arranger, producer and percussionist Tony Succar and his Latin jazz band Mixtura offer their renditions of a handful of standards on the 2013 album De One Live Sessions Vol. 1. Though a studio album, the band embraces the "live in the studio" feeling, which shines throughout. A DVD of the band during the same studio session accompanies the album, providing a glimpse of the coordination and communication between the performers.
Succar plays timbales and cajon, and is joined by Jesus Mato on trumpet, Hery Paz on tenor saxophone and flute, Oscar Dudamel on baritone sax, and trombonist Jorge Dubal, Jr. The rhythm section includes bassist Yorgis Goiricelaya, pianist Mauricio Quiros, djembe player Alexandra Alban, and percussionists Michael Lozana, Diego Camacho, and Jose "Majito" Aguilero on congas, bongos, and guiros.
The band's flair and Succar's penchant for tight-knit, driving arrangements is apparent immediately. After a brief percussion introduction, the band launches into a densely orchestrated reimagining of the Herbie Hancock classic "Eye of the Hurricane." While the arrangement is thoroughly personalized, with heavy Latin inflections, the effect remains faithful to the original. The layered and interlocking percussion parts offer a rhythmic tapestry unapproachable by a standard drum set. Additionally, the newly composed piano vamp captures the original's sentiment so well that it would sound at home in any rendition.
The next track is Juan Tizol's "Caravan," which is interpreted in cut time with a driving monotone baritone sax motif permeating the theme. The tune is a vehicle for Succar's arranging abilities, both in the realms of horn writing and the contrasting percussion interludes.
The remaining tracks include one composition by Tony Perez and by Oscar Hernandez, both significant musicians of Latin American descent. Hernandez's "El Morro" is the only ballad on the album, but it deserves note for Hery Paz's masterful flute solos.
All of the players are tight throughout, but bassist Yorgis Goiricelaya and pianist Mauricio Quiros are especially impressive and bring an indispensible element to the overall sound.
Track Listing: Eye of the Hurricane; Caravan; Decision; El Morro; La Danza.
Personnel: Tony Succar: timbales & cajon; Jesus Mato: trumpet; Hery Paz; tenor saxophone & flute; Oscar
Dudamel: baritone saxophone (track 2); Jorge Dobal Jr.: trombone; Yorgis Goiricelaya: bass;
Mauricio Quiros: piano; Michael Lozana: conga, bongo & guiro; Diego Camacho: conga, bongo
& guiro; Jose "Majito" Aguilero: conga, bongo & guiro; Alexandra Alban: djembe (track 2).
Record Label: Mixtura Productions