All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

4

Afro-Cuban All Stars: Absolutely Live II

Chris M. Slawecki By

Sign in to view read count
You can find many groups who call themselves "Afro-Cuban All Stars." But few have the pedigree of this ensemble led by vocalist Juan De Marcos Gonzalez, co-architect of the legendary Cuban roots Buena Vista Social Club sessions (1997, Nonesuch/Elektra) and dubbed by Downbeat as "the Quincy Jones of Cuban music." Marcos' first new music in six years comprises highlights from the All-Stars' engagement at an international music festival in Guanajuato (Mexico); this CD provides the audio companion to the DVD of that performance.

In a multicolored, multicultural celebration, Absolutely Live II
surveys five genres of Cuban music and their connections to New Orleans and other jazz sources. The opening "Yaimara's Groove" immediately pulls you into their party: This thick and pungent musical gumbo uses a cool Latin groove as stock, tosses in visionary vibraphone, piano and trumpet solos, then simmers to Afro-Cuban perfection. It's as if "Yaimara's Groove" is the name of the coolest Cuban eatery on Bourbon Street and the buffet is open all night long.

de Marcos' original "Camino de Santiago" also reaches into the Creole district of New Orleans with a resounding piano riff that burns through all sides like an ember, dark and hot, the sound of pianist Horace Silver sitting in with a Cuban orchestra. As the lead solo and ensemble reply vocals grow more fevered, the instrumental ensemble pours on accelerant and then a burning trumpet solo strikes the match.

Ensemble horns do more than simply open the son "Tumba y Bongo," they blast it out of a cannon. Trumpet and piano soloists bob and weave as if they were parading the ensemble in and out of a summer shower of soft, ringing vibes. Like most of these tunes, "Tumba" builds in vocal and instrumental intensity the longer it continues, with bongos, congas and timbales popping in and out of the breaks to keep its powerful groove unbroken, and trumpet blowing like Dizzy Gillespie, high and hot.

The epic, twelve-minute jam "La Mujer del Barbaro" closes like the colorful climactic dance in a movie musical. It brings the curtain down on Absolutely Live II in a kaleidoscopic swirl of piano and vocals and percussion and horns, all bouncing off each other and lighting up your ears like a shower of Afro-Cuban jazz (all-) stars.

Track Listing: Yaimara's Groove; Barbaridad; Tumba y Bongo; Camino de Santiago; Ahora me da Pena; El Cuarto de Tula; Candela; La Mujer del Barbaro.

Personnel: Gabriel Hernandez: piano; Alberto Pantaleón: bass; Gliceria Gonzalez: vibraphone, keyboards, backing vocals; Yoanny Pino: trumpet, flugelhorn; Yaure Muñiz: trumpet, flugelhorn; Igort Rivas: trumpet, flugelhorn; Tony Moreaux: bongos, cowbell; Rolando “Niño Mentira” Salgado: congas; Antonio “Pachá” Portuondo: timbales; Emilio Suárez: vocals; Evelio Galán: vocals; Juan de Marcos: vocals, hand percussion; Gilito Piñera: vocals, hand percussion; Gliceria Abreu: hand percussion; Gliceria Gonzalez: hand percussion.

Title: Absolutely Live II | Year Released: 2017 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Dreams And Other Stories CD/LP/Track Review
Dreams And Other Stories
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 22, 2018
Read The Nook CD/LP/Track Review
The Nook
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations CD/LP/Track Review
Julius Eastman - Piano Interpretations
by Troy Dostert
Published: September 22, 2018
Read Moments Before CD/LP/Track Review
Moments Before
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 22, 2018
Read From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD Blu Ray) CD/LP/Track Review
From The Vault: No Security, San Jose '99 (2CD + SD...
by John Kelman
Published: September 22, 2018
Read with whom you can be who you are CD/LP/Track Review
with whom you can be who you are
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 21, 2018
Read "Flyin' Through Florida" CD/LP/Track Review Flyin' Through Florida
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 22, 2018
Read "Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)" CD/LP/Track Review Basement Sessions Vol. 4 (The Bali Tapes)
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 28, 2018
Read "Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh" CD/LP/Track Review Undercurrent - Live at Theater Gutersloh
by Ian Patterson
Published: June 24, 2018
Read "The Subject Tonight Is Love" CD/LP/Track Review The Subject Tonight Is Love
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 31, 2018
Read "Dirt...And More Dirt" CD/LP/Track Review Dirt...And More Dirt
by Karl Ackermann
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "66 67" CD/LP/Track Review 66 67
by Chris Mosey
Published: November 9, 2017