Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

1

Zarabande: El Toro

Roger Farbey By

Sign in to view read count
Alfred "El Toro" Flores has been on the San Antonio music scene for more than 30 years, playing in a number of different bands and genres. He's also something of a multi-instrumentalist, in addition to marimba, he plays vibraphone, xylophone and guitar. El Toro reflects Zarabande's proclivity for his own brand of electrifying Latin jazz.

On the rumbustious opener "Ogun," Mark Little is first heard with some McCoy Tyner-esque broad piano flourishes, followed by Flores's malletKat which on this number sound like steelpans, thus perfectly illustrating the versatililty of the electronic instrument. The malletKAT is actually a digital MIDI percussion mallet controller that can emulate both marimba and vibraphone.

"Zarabande" introduces some fine vibes/marimba interaction and on the rocking "The West Wind" Alfred Flores stretches out on the marimba and at times his playing is reminiscent of the extraordinary sounds Ruth Underwood produced on that instrument in the context of Frank Zappa's 1970s-era line-ups.

Pete Ojeda gives a resonating bass guitar solo on "The Painful Truth" and the slow, sultry ballad "Praise" gives way to Mark Little's relaxed piano on the mid-tempo "Giant" followed by an eloquent solo by Flores and some skittish interplay between the two instruments.

The lively title track benefits from a labyrinthine melody and some remarkable marimba soloing and an attractive repeated ensemble section mid-way through. Concluding this set, "Bebé" features Joe Caploe's florid vibraphone work and Flores's' vibrant marimba. Flores's should be rightly proud to lead this consistently solid group playing exuberant, all original compositions for the heart and the head.

Track Listing: Ogun; Zarabande; The West Wind; The Painful Truth; Judah Memphis; Praise; Giant; El Toro; Bebé.

Personnel: Alfred Flores: marimba, malletKAT; Joe Caploe: vibraphone, percussion; Mark Little: piano; Pete Ojeda: bass guitar; Dean Macomber: drums.

Title: El Toro | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Self Produced

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Viriditas" CD/LP/Track Review Viriditas
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "The Invariant" CD/LP/Track Review The Invariant
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 17, 2017
Read "Proverbe" CD/LP/Track Review Proverbe
by Karl Ackermann
Published: June 15, 2017
Read "The Child in Me" CD/LP/Track Review The Child in Me
by Friedrich Kunzmann
Published: November 23, 2017
Read "Voices in the Void" CD/LP/Track Review Voices in the Void
by Glenn Astarita
Published: March 3, 2017
Read "Graveyard Whistling" CD/LP/Track Review Graveyard Whistling
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: April 5, 2017