200

Mark Weinstein: Con Alma

By

Sign in to view read count
Mark Weinstein: Con Alma Con Alma is a highly listenable album reminiscent of the days of Afro-Cuban Latin jazz and the beginnings of the salsa movement. The leader, flutist Mark Weinstein, brings a most interesting story with him to this project.

Weinstein was once a trombonist alongside veteran Barry Rogers in Eddie Palmieri's La Perfecta Orquesta in 1966. Esteemed Latin musician and bandleader Larry Harlow, in the liner notes, recounts how Weinstein was offered a job as a bassist for a summertime gig in the Catskill Mountains if he could learn to play the instrument within a month. Weinstein not only complied but became an outstanding bassist.

Weinstein released the ground-breaking 1967 recording Cuban Roots (Musicor), which proved to be most influential in the development of Latin jazz. Chick Corea was also a member of the ensemble, and it was the first time that rumba and Weinstein's arrangements helped to codify the trumpet and trombone section which became the core of the New York salsa sound.

However, Mark Weinstein soon decided to change instruments and learned to play the flute after receiving his musical doctorate in the 1970s. Weinstein started recording as a flutist in the mid 1990s, with Con Alma being his tenth album. In addition to his work in Latin jazz, Weinstein has recorded with Brazilian musicians like Trio da Paz and world musicians including Omar Sosa, Cyro Baptista and Brad Shepik.

Con Alma is almost a throwback to earlier days, when Afro-Cuban and Salsa music prospered. Weinstein's flute work brings back memories of an early 1960s Herbie Mann, prior to his discovering the viability of a youth market, and Dave Valentin, on his non-fusion and smooth jazz albums.

The real excitement is the ensemble performance of Weinstein's group. Pianist Mark Levine does a stellar job of pulling this whole project together, and getting as much solo time as Weinstein. Santi Debriano is of Panamanian heritage, and is obviously most comfortable with the pulsing rhythms played here. The team of drummer Mauricio Herrera and conguero Pedrito Martinez, two Cuban musicians, provides a percolating and unstoppable rhythm throughout the album with their solo and support work.

In a nice switch, instead of all-Latin tunes, the compositions consist of jazz standards, some of them well known, like John Coltrane's "Crescent," Wayne Shorter's "Fee Fi Fo Fum," Thelonous Monk's "Evidence," and Dizzy Gillespie's title tune. There are some obscure choices, including Bobby Hutcherson's "Gotcha," Mulgrew Miller's "Soul-Leo," and Debriano's "Santi's Africaleidoscope." To round out the album, Weinstein and Levine each contribute an original, and the album concludes with Victor Young' classic "Stella By Starlight."



This is a good time to dust off those mambo shoes!


Track Listing: Santis Africaleidescope; Broadway Local; Con Alma; Crescent; Fee Fi Fo Fum; Evidence; La Coneja Loca; Gotcha; Soul-Leo; Monte Adentro; Stella by Starlight,

Personnel: Mark Weinstein: flutes; Mark Levine: piano; Santi Debriano: bass; Maurico Herrera: drums; Pedrito Martinez: congas.

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Jazzheads | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read A Dark and Stormy Day CD/LP/Track Review A Dark and Stormy Day
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Pocono Git-Down CD/LP/Track Review Pocono Git-Down
by Edward Blanco
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Rímur CD/LP/Track Review Rímur
by Henning Bolte
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Schönbrunn CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017
Read Northern Adventures CD/LP/Track Review Northern Adventures
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 28, 2017
Read Collider CD/LP/Track Review Collider
by John Sharpe
Published: February 28, 2017
Read "Now Hear This!" CD/LP/Track Review Now Hear This!
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 7, 2017
Read "Guess Who I Saw Today" CD/LP/Track Review Guess Who I Saw Today
by Edward Blanco
Published: July 14, 2016
Read "Two Of A Kind" CD/LP/Track Review Two Of A Kind
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 30, 2016
Read "And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley" CD/LP/Track Review And Now the Queen - A Tribute to Carla Bley
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 30, 2016
Read "Out Of The Blue" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blue
by Tyran Grillo
Published: November 4, 2016
Read "And the Rhythm Serenaders" CD/LP/Track Review And the Rhythm Serenaders
by Jack Bowers
Published: August 22, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!