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Ignacio Berroa: Codes

Jim Santella By

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Ignacio Berroa spreads contemporary Latin jazz before him everywhere he goes. It's the music of Dizzy Gillespie, the music of Mario Bauza, and the music of Gonzalo Rubalcaba, David Sánchez, Ed Simon, John Patitucci, and the other members of Berroa's band.

Along with a vibrant Latin jazz rhythm and accented melodies, the ensemble adds invigorating solos to its successful recipe. Berroa and his rhythm mates hold down the group's foundation while two superb saxophonists and two creative pianists stretch the limits of their range.

What are the Codes that Berroa has chosen to express by his album's title?

That's easy. He's surely referring to the universal language. His music reflects the traditional music of Cuba and Africa, the big band music of Dizzy Gillespie, the Brazilian folk essence of Antonio Carlos Jobim, and the modern jazz of Chick Corea and Wayne Shorter, as well as the contemporary freshness that exists all over the club, festival and concert circuit today. Jazz is a coded language, and Berroa's ensemble communicates in that medium fluently.

La Comparsa and "Joao Su Merced dig down for a traditional look at the roots of Latin jazz. "Matrix finds the ensemble flowing with a sound that is very much of today. Pinocchio also presents a contemporary look at the heightened spirits of Latin jazz, while "Partido Alto and "Realidad y Fantasia flow smoothly with the kind of ballad qualities that remain timeless.

Berroa closes with a lovely bolero that features Sánchez, Simon and Patitucci in a musical conversation that warms the heart. Throughout his session, the veteran drummer shares the spotlight and propels his stellar ensemble with the use of a language that they all understand fluently: jazz.


Track Listing: Matrix; Joao Su Merced; La Comparsa; Partido Alto; Realidad y Fantasia; Pinocchio; Woody

Personnel: Ignacio Berroa: drums; Felipe Lamoglia: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone; David S

Title: Codes | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Blue Note Records


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