How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Initiated five years ago and dedicated solely to issuing Latin and Afro-Cuban jazz, CuBop now has over 30 releases in its catalog. Their sampler, a full hour and twenty minutes, represents items from the past as well as the near future. The spicy contribution from Columbus, Ohio’s Afro-Rican Ensemble made its way to the compilation directly from a demo. At the other end of the spectrum, the Har You Percussion Group was formed by the Harlem Youth Opportunities Unlimited program that was spawned in the mid-1960s. Other leaders and bands represented: Mark Weinstein’s Cuban Roots (revisited) ensemble, Francisco Aguabella, Papo Vázquez, Bobby Matos, Pucho & His Latin Soul Brothers, Johnny Blas, John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, and Britain’s Snowboy.
Highlights include: a hot arrangement of "The Last Dynasty" with Papo Vázquez, Willie Williams and Arturo O’Farrill; an exciting vocal feature for percussionist Davide Giovannini, "Tierra Va Tamblar," that includes Paul Jayashinha’s bold and brassy trumpet; a mellow vocal anthem, "The Creator Has A Master Plan," sung in English by Darrell Harris and in Spanish by Bobby Matos; and an even mellower "Philadelphia" by Matos’ 10-piece ensemble from his Footprints album that spotlights Michael Turre’s rip-roaring flute lead and Louis Taylor’s luscious tenor saxophone interlude. Recommended, CuBop’s sampler is a great way to get acquainted with the aforementioned artists and to select your own favorites.
Track Listing: Malanga; Asi Son Bronco; The Last Dynasty; The Creator Has A Master Plan; Descarga On Las Palmas; Little Sunflower; Tierra Va Tamblar; Descarga Iyaw
Personnel: Michael Turre, Allen Ray, Melecio Magdaluyo- flute; Mark Weinstein- alto flute, C flute; Charles Owens- flute, tenor saxophone; Ron Stallings- soprano saxophone; Eddie Pazant, Nelson Sanamiago- alto saxophone; Willie Williams, Keith Newton, Gary Plumley, Louis Taylor- tenor saxophone; Kim Pensyl, Stafford Osborne Jr., Joffre Marchand, Paul Jayashinha, Ramon Flores- trumpet; Arturo Velasco, Isaac Smith, Dan Weinstein, Steve Baxter, Paul Taylor, Wayne Wallace, Kerry Loeschen, Humberto Ruiz, Edwin Blas, Papo V