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Ed Calle: Ed Calle 360

Edward Blanco By

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Miami-based Latin Grammy saxophonist Ed Calle follows up on his award-winning Dr. Ed Calle Presents Mamblue (Mojito Records, 2015) album, with the audacious Ed Calle 360 offering a dynamic selection of music presenting less of the Latin flavor and more of the contemporary side of jazz, with a touch of Nashville, fusion, Afro-Cuban as well as traditional material, tastefully performed with a decidedly boppish flair. A multi-Grammy nominee, who has graced the albums of such legendary artists as Frank Sinatra, Vicky Carr, Natalie Cole to Carlos Santana, Tito Puente and Randy Brecker among many, many more, Calle is a full-time professor at Miami Dade College and a prolific performer who has appeared on more than 1,200 albums making him one of the most recorded jazz saxophonist in history.

On his award-winning recording, Calle made sure he included as many musicians as possible on the album which totaled 115 players. Here, the saxophonist takes a break and assembles only a mere fourteen musicians including luminaries Arturo Sandoval and Chad Bernstein for this date. The music takes off on the soaring title track where the leader is joined by young pianist and long-time member of the Sandoval bands, Lee Levin—all forming the core rhythm section throughout the album.

Two of the hard-driving pieces of the session are "Dancing On a Cloud," and "Monk's Mode," where the saxophonist displays his incredible chops on the tenor assisted a bit by superb trumpet play from Luis "Papo" Marquez on the latter. "Waltz for Sydney" is one of the warmer tunes on the recording and this time, capturing Calle on the soprano saxophone accompanied well by guitarist Dan Warner. The music turns hot and furious on the lively "Half Turn" while the funk-styled "Lala Land" includes contributions from trombonist Dana Teboe, Doug Emery on the organ and percussionist Richard Bravo, all helping to spice up the music.

Calle gives us a taste of New Orleans on the gyrating "One for JJ" where this time, the leader picks up the clarinet and features the great Arturo Sandoval on the horn and Warner on the banjo along with fine bass lines from Jerry Bravo. There are two versions of the lively and perky original "Pooch Patrol,"—dedicated to Nashville trumpeter and fellow AAJ writer Nick Mondello—with the first version featuring multi-instrumentalist Calle, on the baritone as well as the tenor with splendid solos on each.

Other notable tracks include "+/-3" and the sizzling "Hammocks Hoedown" making every original piece on this set a keeper and worthy of repeated spins. One sampling of this disc is simply not enough as the varied music offered here, presents some of the finest jazz sounds heard anywhere. Dr. Ed Calle does it again crafting another compelling and engaging musical statement on Ed Calle 360, a gem of an album that sparkles all over.

Track Listing: 360; Dancing On a Cloud; Monk's Mode; Waltz for Sydney; Half Turn; Lala Land; Until The End of Never; One for JJ; +/- 3; Pooch Patrol; Hammocks Hoedown; Pooch Patrol (Alternate Take).

Personnel: Ed Calle: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, baritone saxophone, clarinet; Kemuel Roig: piano; Josh Allen: contrabass; Lee Levin: drums; Dan Warner: guitar, banjo; Eddie Trujillo: guitar (9); Richard Bravo: percussion; Luis "Papo" Marquez: trumpet (3); Francisco "Cisco" Dimas: trumpet (6); Arturo Sandoval: trumpet (8); Tom "Bones" Malone: trombone (12); Dana Teboe: trombone (3, 6, 8); Chad Bernstein: trombone (8); Doug Emery: organ (6); Jerry Bravo: contrabass (11).

Title: Ed Calle 360 | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Mojito Records

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