Brothers Zaccai and Luques Curtis are the driving force behind the group Insight, whose A Genesis is a spirited blend of Latin jazz with elements from other genres. Pianist Zaccai composed most of the songs and the music is arranged and performed with skill and energy.
Latin burners like "Necessity and the passionate "Ulterior Motive propel the album. Guest star Jimmy Greene's fierce tenor is the highlight of "Story In Three, which moves from a waltz to samba, with a few bars of funk toward the end for good measure. Zaccai's dazzling piano is at the center of "Hilton's Rumba, a tribute to the late pianist Hilton Ruiz, with altoist Kris Allen blowing up a storm.
The band also weaves other styles into its program seamlessly. "The Panamanian Murga and "The Making, though rooted in Latin jazz, have a distinct African pedigree. "The Truth Shall Set You Free is a solid bop tune dominated by Greene's moody tenor, whereas his soprano on the gospel-themed ballad "In the Spirit of J.R. recalls the smooth style of Grover Washington, Jr. And the Curtis brothers themselves take center stage on the urgent duet "Sudan and Darfur, where bassist Luques snaps his pizzicato like a whip.
Zaccai's excellent playing on acoustic and electric piano seems to improve with each track. The horn trio of trumpeter Joel Gonzalez, altoist Zach Lucas and Greene combine for rich melodies in group and solo contexts. Drummer Richie Barshay, percussionist Reinaldo De Jesus and the Curtis brothers provide a solid rhythmic foundation. All of these elements combine to make A Genesis one of the finest releases of 2007.
Track Listing: The Resuscitation; Necessity; Story In Three; In the Spirit of J.R.; Ulterior Motive; Insurrection; The Truth Shall Set You Free; The Panamanian Murga; Hilton
Personnel: Zaccai Curtis: piano; Luques Curtis: bass; Richie Barshay: drums; Reinaldo De Jesus: congas; Joel Gonzalez: trumpet; Zach Lucas: alto saxophone; Kris Allen: alto sax (9); Jimmy Greene: tenor and soprano sax.
The first record I bought was Miles Smiles. Having been a drummer since age two, hearing a young Tony Williams opened up so many possibilities for a 14 year old church drummer. My life changed that day and I've never looked back!