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by Dan Bilawsky
American pop sophisticate Burt Bacharach and Mexican bolero icon Armando Manzanero may not seem like a good fit for a binary tribute album, but that combination actually works. Why, you ask? The answer is fairly simple: When you boil down the music that each of those men created, you're left with indelible melodies, beautiful and colorful harmonies, and personalized forms of language that, nonetheless, remain approachable. Gabriel Espinosa, a bassist-vocalist with an affinity for the work of ...read more
by Edward Blanco
A native of Merida, the capital of the Mexican state of Yucatan, bassist/composer/arranger Gabriel Espinosa delivers his fourth album and ZOHO debut with a stunning recording, delving into a palette of Brazilian-colored music with the help of an international cast of world-class musicians. Living in Merida since the age of fourteen, Espinosa spent years listening to and absorbing the bossa nova sounds brought by touring groups headed for the United States as part of the new wave that swept the ...read more
by John Barron
Mexican-born bassist/composer Gabriel Espinosa has spent the past 13 years as director of jazz studies at Central College in Pella, Iowa. With a fresh batch of Brazilian-flavored compositions and arrangements, the Yucatan native organized an all-star session in the fall of 2008 to produce the aptly titled From Yucatan to Rio. The disc features an impressive cast of world-class musicians including Romero Lubambo (guitar), Helio Alves (piano), Claudio Roditi (trumpet), Anat Cohen (clarinet), George Robert (alto saxophone) and Antonio Sanchez ...read more
by John Patten
Bassist Gabriel Espinosa's From Yucatan to Rio (Zoho Music, 2009) works the abundant musical territory found in Latin rhythms and harmony, creating sounds that are at once fresh while still carrying a tinge of bossa and '60s sounds.
Working with an A-list crew that includes Claudio Roditi on trumpet, Anat Cohen on clarinet (for Nuevos Horizontes"), and drummer Antonio Sanchez on several cuts, Espinosa gets terrific treatments of his compositions.
Espinosa's regular gig is with the ...read more