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Carrera Quinta: Carrera Quinta Big Band

Edward Blanco By

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Carrera Quinta is a Colombian quintet established in 2006 by composers Javier Perez Sandoval and Francy Montalvo specifically designed to perform a blend of contemporary jazz with traditional Colombian music from the Andean Region drawing on influences from such Colombian composers such as German Dario Perez, Oriol Rangel, and Trio Morales Pino among others. After recording their debut album En Esencia in 2009, the group expands to an eighteen-piece large orchestra under the direction of Ricardo Jaramillo in delivering their second album with the self-titled Carrera Quinta Big Band.

The album features music penned by Perez-Sandoval during the time he was studying at the University of Louisville School of Music Jazz Studies Program under mentor, big band leader and arranger John La Barbera. The core quintet of Carrera Quinta features co-leaders Perez-Sandoval on guitar and Montalvo on the piano joined by Cesar Medina on the sax, Daniel Montoya on electric bass and Pedro Acosta on the drums—all faculty members of the Universidad El Bosque School of Music in Bogota, Colombia.

Beginning with "Take A Deep Breath," the band comes out in sizzling fashion swinging on a Perez-Sandoval composition given first prize by Bogota's Department of Arts, Idartes which highlights solos from the leader, the drummer and trumpeter Pavel Zuzaeta. The following "No Voy a Quedarme" (I'm not staying) is a straight jazz number with excellent articulation showcasing and displaying a bit of muscle evidencing the kind of power play the ensemble is capable of and does often here.

Pianist Montalvo's only composition of the recording, the gentle ballad of "Eligia de un Sentimiento," is perhaps the soft spot of the album introduced by the pianist on a beautiful warm solo later engaged by the orchestra which provides several moments of energy throughout the gorgeous melody. The guitarist's original "Modal Step," was a composition originally commissioned by the City of Bogota's "Jazz Al Parque" (Jazz in the Park) Festival of 2013 and it features solo moments from the guitarist, the drummer and Medina on the alto saxophone on another powerful big band chart.

After the brief but lively high-octane and uplifting "Rio Cali," the session comes to a close on the delicate and challenging "El Intensos," featuring sprite solos from tenor man William Rojas and superb riffs from Perez-Sandoval with the Acosta punctuating the piece on solid pounding of the drums before the brass and the entire orchestra brings the house down.

Kudos to Javier Perez-Sandoval and Francy Montalvo for developing Carrera Quinta into a big band project that works so well here. Carrera Quitna Big Band captures the Colombian folk and jazz sound in compelling fashion and distinguishes this ensemble by defining a unique approach of their own that is sure to resonate throughout the jazz landscape.

Track Listing: Take A Deep Breath; No Voy A Querdarme; Little Step; Elegia de un Sentimiento; Modal Step; Rio Cali; El Intensos.

Personnel: Javier Perez-Sandoval: guitar; Francy Montalvo: piano; Pedro Acosta: drums; Daniel Montoya: electric bass; Cesar Medina: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Ricardo Jaramillo: director/conductor; Dario Montoya: flute; Rafael Sandoval: alto saxophone; William Rojas: tenor saxophone; Julio Panadero: tenor saxophone; Adalber Gavira: baritone saxophone; Carlos Acosta: trumpet; Fernando Pena: trumpet; Pavel Zuzaeta: trumpet; Orlando Barreda Batanga: trumpet; Cristhian Hernandez: trombone; Diego Gomez: trombone; Andres Guzman: trombone; Mauricio Patino: trombone.

Title: Carrera Quinta Big Band | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

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