It has been ten years since Luis Mario Ochoa's Canadian Latin jazz combo, Cimarrón, recorded its first album. On this new release, the guitarist/vocalist also invites Latin jazz star Paquito D'Rivera and noted trumpeter Guido Basso to join in. Basso spent years recording with Rob McConnell's Boss Brass.
The effort is a mixture of Latin jazz and salsa music. The ten selections consist of five originals, two traditional Cuban songs, two from the Great American Songbook, and a Paquito D'Rivera samba. Half of the tracks include vocals from Ochoa; he duets with his father on the Cuban tune "Alma Con Alma." On Henry Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses," Ochoa's vocals are in heavily accented English. He is much more comfortable on the Spanish vocals, including the above-mentioned "Alma Con Alma," a moving bolero.
These vocals recall the Golden Age of salsa, in which listeners were encouraged to get up and dance to the pulsing rhythms of the band and vocalist during the second half of the 20th Century. On the remaining tracks, Cimarrón, a nonet, joins invited guests to set up a generous Latin jazz invitation for dancers and casual listeners. Ochoa shows his fluency on guitar through his solo work on "To Brenda With Love" and "Mestizos."
I was first exposed to jazz by my father, who was a rabid fan when he was younger, in the early to mid 1950's. We lived in NYC and he was a regular at places like the Village Vanguard and Birdland. One of his favorite stories involved meeting Charlie Parker and Miles on 52nd St
I was first exposed to jazz by my father, who was a rabid fan when he was younger, in the early to mid 1950's. We lived in NYC and he was a regular at places like the Village Vanguard and Birdland. One of his favorite stories involved meeting Charlie Parker and Miles on 52nd St. Needless to say, Jazz and Blues were always on the stereo in our home. I was steeped in these exciting sounds, and they make up some of my earliest memories.