How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Ray Barretto and New World Spirit are one of the finest ensembles in Latin jazz and on the elegantly swinging "Trancedance" they prove why throughout. The date opens with a simply wonderful arrangement of a simply wonderful Monty Alexander tune, "Renewal". Pianist John Di Martino's solo is a delight, as is the playing of special guest James Moody, here and on the other four numbers he contributes to. Trumpeter John Baily and the tireless percussion section shine on the Randy Weston classic "Hi-Fly". Former NWS trumpeter Michael Mossman's arrangement of Barretto's title track should be recognized as an instant modern jazz classic. The angular, brooding lines, the tight groove and intelligent harmonies and masterful execution by the ensemble, lead by saxophonist Adam Kolker are simply superb. The master composer and arranger hook up again for "Iberian Interlude" and the results are similar - smart, fresh and soulful! Adam Kolker's arrangement of "Fever" is another example of the jazz mind at work - rescuing a tired, overdone and pretentious tune with careful jazz interpretation, and the clave's just the thing. This music succeeds on many levels, mainly it gets your feet tapping and your brain reacting. "Trancedance" is another musical success from the great Ray Barretto and his fine ensemble.
Track Listing: Renewal; Hi-Fly; Trancedance; Para Que Niegas; I Remember Tito; Sunset/OnThe Trail (From The Grand Canyon Suite); Round About Midnight; Iberian Interlude; Fever.
Personnel: Ray Barretto: percussion, vocals; Greg August: bass; John Bailey: trumpet' Vince Cherico: drums; John Di Martino: piano; Adam Colker: tenor saxophone; James Moody: flute, tenor saxophone; Los Papines: percussion.