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by James Nadal
The roots of Afro-Cuban music can be traced to its primordial source in the West African Mandika Empire (Mali) of the 15th century. Heritage is a collaboration of Cameroonian bassist Richard Bona with the Mandekan Cubano ensemble in a musical exploration of two cultures with the common bond of Africa as a point of origin and influence. This venture revolves around familiar Cuban dance oriented, melodic structure, accented with Bona's dominant African traits, for an engaging tour de force.read more
by Jim Santella
Vibraphonist Milt Jackson, 76, formed the roots of the Modern Jazz Quartet almost fifty years ago. That same lyrical quality that drives the MJQ stands before the fourteen-year-old Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, sharing, blending, and coaxing the melodies out of his vibraphone’s metal bars. The microphones are set up so that the listener has the same opportunity as one who is seated front and center, about seven rows back; piano and drums are on the left, while most of the horns ...read more
by Douglas Payne
In a recording career that's spanned more than half a century, the masterful vibraphonist Milt Jackson has seldom been less than flawless. For Explosive!, his fifth disc on Quincy Jones's well-distributed Qwest label, Jackson is suitably teamed with the well-populated Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. It too, is no exception; offering a sterling collection of Jackson's pleasing blend of blues and ballads.Jackson has only recorded with big bands on a surprisingly infrequent basis (his Verve recordings with Ray Brown, two ...read more