Vocalist and pianist Carol Welsman always had an affinity for Latin rhythms and often included the element in her music. In fact, producing an album where the Latin side of jazz is the main focus has been a longtime dream that she finally fulfills on Dance with Me
. The music is a delightful excursion into the Latin jazz genre with arrangements that touch on boleros, salsa, cha cha cha and even calypso. One of the main highlights of the recording and the "piece de resistance" as Welsman states, is her duet with multiple Grammy
Award winning Latin singer Juan Luis Guerra on the title track of the session.
Presenting a selection of shoulder-moving Latin-styled tunes, the singer delivers English adaptations of songs from Latin composers such as Bene More, Justiz Permenio Salazar, Duarte Brito, Pedro Vega and Armando Manzanero. Included among the array of Latin charts are a couple of originals and a few standards from Jerome Kern and Arthur Schwartz to round out the set.
To accomplish this very special project the leader assembles an all-Latin cast of players with bassist Rene Camacho
, drummer Jimmy Branly
percussionist great Joey De Leon
and longtime Latin jazz artist and reed man, Justo Almario
, as well as bringing in bandleader and pianist Oscar Hernandez
as Musical Director.
The Latin rhythms start pouring in on the brisk and brief opening "You and the Night and the Music," a time tested tune featuring new percussive and up beat tempos from a terrific Afro-Cuban-tinged arrangement. The shoulders keep moving on the following "A Taste of Paradise," propelled by Almario's tenor solos and Welsman's lush vocals. More's classic "Femme Fatale-Amor Fugaz," a beautiful soft ballad, is performed by the singer with a tons of emotion as she lends her delicate key work to Almario's sensual play on the flute on another highlight of the album.
The sounds of the Cha Cha Cha come to the fore on the very danceable "Time to Dance Cha Cha Cha," accompanied by the flautist and background vocals from the band. Speaking of dancing, the Latin arrangement of Jerome Kern's stand-out standard, "I Won't Dance," comes across as a high energy rendition with a heavy percussive flair that's quite engaging.
The singer's original "Revelations" is perhaps the only track without an obvious Latin rhythm, preferring a more traditional straight ahead feel to it. There are two wonderful ballads on the album, both with the word "Yesterday," in the title. Duarte Brito's "Yesterday-Como Fue" and Manzanero's gentile "Yesterday I Heard the Rain- Esta Tarde Vi llover," where Welsman voices the lyrics in Spanish on a heart-felt finale.
A superior singer gifted with a lush vocal delivery, Carol Wesman produces a masterful tribute to the Latin sounds, recording a mix of temperature-rising danceable Afro-Cuban rhythms and a few heart-warming Latin ballads, making Dance with Me
an exceptional musical statement sure to garnish critical acclaim and repeated spins.
You and the Night and the Music; A Taste of Paradise; Femme Fatale-Amor fugaz; Dance with Me; Time to Dance cha Cha
Cha- Ya llego la hora; Yesterday-Como fue; Island Lullaby; I Think of You- Y hoy como ayer; I Won't Dance; Revelations;
Yesterday I heard the Rain-Esta tarde vi llover.