El Eco: Two Worlds (2002)
How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
El Eco's Two Worlds is a bit of a smooth Latin stewthe cool tempos of Brazil simmered with the darker tones and more complex rhythms of Argentina and Uraguay.
El Eco is led by drummer Guillermo Nojechowicz, and the generously-sized group also featues trumpeter Claudio Roditi, who recently added his horn magic to guitarist Ken Hatfield's Phoenix Rising ; and saxophonist Dino Govoni, who just put out his second CD, the marvelous mainstream In the Library on Whaling City Sounds.
This record presents samba beats, bossa nova grooves, the occasional popping modernistic electric bass lines (a la Marcus Miller), and enough churning Latin percussion to get you up out of the chair to shimmy into the Southern Hemisphere snake hips.
Drummer/leader Nojochowicz is Argentine-born, but Boston bredhaving lived in Beantown for twenty-plus years. He reworks the diverse Latin song-scapes, bringing in a hue of the blues, a bit of the bop. Tight arrangements, beautiful soling by Roditi and Govoni as well as pianist Helio Alves, and some cool, lovely, fluid vocals by Kim Nasarian, especially on "Cafe Opiniano" and "Chacarera de Paloma".
A polished effort, beautifully arranged and produced. Hard to believe it's a debut release.
Track Listing: Two Wrolds, Partido Final, Time Lost, Samb de Maya, Uraguay, La Bossa
Nova de Claudio, Cafe Opiniao, Fragile, Chacarera de Paloma, boa
Viagem Baiao, Buenos Aires
Personnel: Guillermo Nojechowicz, drums; Kim Nazarian, vocal; Helio Alves, piano;
Dino Govoni, saxes; Fernando Huergo, bass; John Allmark, trumpet,
Claudio Roditi, trumpet and flugelhorn; Romero Lumbambo, guitar; Cafe,
percussion; Nestor Sanchez, background vocals; Donny McCaslin, tenor
sax; Brad Hatfield, keyboards; Amaro Laria, congas; Mark Greel, trumpet
Record Label: Dreambox Media