Based upon the musicians who are involved with this project, one might expect something fresh, vibrant, and jubilant. Nonetheless, the trio along with special guest, multi-reedman Steve Slagle substantiated my suspicions. Percussionist Manolo Badrena, who has recorded and performed with Weather Report, Steve Khan, and others, propels this Latin tinged band through a series of memorably melodic pieces. The criminally under-recognized jazz guitarist Dave Stryker injects fluid progressions and peppery single note leads into a set also featuring first call session bassist Andy McKee. Essentially, the band melds jazzy themes with Afro-Cuban rhythms and Brazilian sambas amid a willingness to expound upon concepts in true improvising fashion. Here, the listener is afforded the best of both worlds as the musicians’ jab and spar amid some hearty solo spots and Badrena’s exuberant vocalise. They bridge the gap between Latin and contemporary jazz, but one of the dominant aspects resides within their ability to render beguiling themes with adventurous exchanges. While they toss a few shrewdly concocted deviations into the mix. Recommended!
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good
I was first exposed to jazz when I discovered that one of Jimi Hendrix's influences was Wes Montgomery. I played guitar growing up and idolized Hendrix, so I knew that anyone he looked up to must be good. I was 16 at the time. I went to Tower Records and purchased a CD by Wes, and I was hooked from the very first ten seconds. The sound of the song Lolita illuminated my bedroom, as I just sat back amazed at how colorful and soulful this music was--I understood it, even though at the time I didn't understand how to go about playing it. I get chills listening to Wes' solo on Lolita, and I can still listen to that song ten times in a row and never get tired of it. There is a truly timeless quality to genuinely spontaneous jazz music, and it is that quality that has inspired me to devote my life to studying and playing this music.