Paquito DRivera, the Cuban-born virtuoso has news for those who love romantic Latin music. His new CD, 100 YEARS OF LATIN JAZZ SONGS (Heads Up HUCD 3045) - the first for the Heads Up label - brings all the warm atmosphere evoked by the sensual ballads and romantic dance tunes from nine different Latin-American countries.
Differently from the rather impetuous, wild Latin style by which the Grammy-winning reed player is known for, the rhythm and improvisations in this record dont explore outer limits; the general tone is coherent with the desire of leading the listener through a sensuous promenade in an ardent Latin night.
This enhanced cd features videos of DRiveras recording sessions, some facts and of the represented countries and history of the ten songs.
Although counting on a full string orchestra that predominates in 6 songs, the project is well-balanced in terms of instrumentation, with diverse, typical instruments shaping each tune. These range from the Paraguayan diatonic harp to the Venezuelan cuatro.
The intention of fairly representing the repertoire is quite well accomplished, although some can argue on the choice of "Sin Tu Cario" as the Puerto Rico/USA best example - even this being one of the liveliest tunes in the cd. Drawn from tango, vallenato, bossa nova (wonderfully remembered through "Corcovado") to bolero and ballads, a good portion of the cream of the Latin American composers sees life through Paquitos subtle, melodic horn.
A delicate work, crafted by the wizardry of the accomplished saxophonist/clarinetist, together with the creativity of Grammy Award winning producer, arranger and conductor Bob Belden, and the professionalism of cuatro player Aquiles Baez and harpist Roberto Perera, 100 YEARS OF LATIN JAZZ SONGS will certainly appeal to those who want the exotic Latin rhythms and sensuous melodies in a definitely romantic setting.