Need a jolt? Feel like dancing? Or just need assurance the state of Latin jazz is alive and well? This superb recording should accomplish all of those things in spades. A truly international collective, LJQ sports a Dutch trumpeter, Dutch bassist, Curacao (ian?) pianist, German congero and Cuban drummer. The date opens with "Balor Di Bida", which sounds like the great 60’s Miles Quintet gone Latin, due in no small part to Jarmo Hoogendijk's muted trumpet tone and the fierce but controlled sound of the rhythm section. This is a great composition by pianist Randal Corsen and the ensemble provides interaction, energy and hip solos all around. Speaking of 60’s Miles, Wayne Shorter’s "El Gaucho" is next, and as with most of his music, we’re reminded why Shorter is a master. It’s also apparent right away this isn’t a pick-up group assembled for a recording date - this is a band. They sound so relaxed and unhurried in what they’re doing, like five people working together for the common good, which is, of course what the jazz ensemble is all about. Corsen’s "Porta Marie" reminds me a bit of Blue Mitchell’s "Fungii Mama" - it’s a modern calypso take on "I Got Rhythm", and it feels really good. The rhythm and percussion sections shine on "Israel", John Carisi’s exotic jazz standard in minor. Corsen shines again on his solo intro to "You Go To My Head". This is a soft, melancholy, simply lovely rendition of this well worn standard. The mute’s off the trumpet, the rhythm section is subdued, and it’s a nice contrast. The date closes with a frantic reading of "Be-Bop" that again showcases the ensembles ability to update and arrange pieces to fit their sound and sensibilities. "Bye-Ya" is a little bit of Saturday night courtesy of the Latin Jazz Quintet. Highly recommended.
Track Listing: Balor Di Bida, El Gaucho, Porta Marie, Fungii Mama, Israel, You Go To My Head, Be-Bop
Personnel: Jarmo Hoogendiijk, trumpet, Randal Corsen, piano, Mick Paauwe, bass, Liber Torriente, drums, Jens Kerkhoff, percussion
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone
Jazz and the blues--because together this musical brother and sister speak from our nation's days of the current cultural affairs and the authenticity and truth of a place where the rhythms held the pulse and the drums the heartbeat, representing every step closer the meat on the bone. Feet in the dirt, or barefoot on a stage with sequins--it's soul beats in my chest.
I was first exposed to jazz while others listened to surf music in the '50s and '60s, it was Monk, Miles, Satchmo and Ella, Rosemary Clooney and Julie London followed. Margaret Whiting, Les McCann, Willie Bobo, Andy Simpkins, Snooky Young, Bill Basie and Helen Humes. The first time I heard Topsy, Take 2, I about passed out at the age of ten.
I've hung with Les McCann who more than 30 years after our first meeting became my duet partner on my CD, Don't Go To Strangers. Karen Hernandez from the start, Jack Le Compte on drums, Lou Shoch on bass, Steve Rawlins as my arranger and pianist, Grant Geissman - guitar genius, Nolan Shaheed, Richard Simon, and more. The big boys. My Red Hot Papas. The best show I ever attended was...
I met Helen Humes first back in 1981 and helped turn one Playboy Jazz Festival night into her tribute, bring the Basie Band to stage, her joy boys. Before she took the stage for the last time to sing, If I could Be With You One Hour Tonight thousands of copies of the newspaper I wrote for carried her story. It was kismet, her being held by Joe Williams backstage. Soon in my life were the great Linda Hopkins who told me I sang the song she wrote better than her, which floored me of course, the energizing Barbara Morrison and the stellar Marilyn Maye who guided me professionally.
My advice to new listeners... let your backbone slip and feel your body stripping back the barriers that prevent us from being one with the music.
Remember none of us are strangers, we just haven't met yet.