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Album Review

Negroni's Trio: Esperanzas / Hopes

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Negroni's Trio: Esperanzas / Hopes
The three-time Latin Grammy-nominated group Negroni's Trio unveils their eleventh album titled Esperanzas / Hope, offering a host of consistently bright and sizzling Latin rhythms over vocals and augmented instrumentals featuring other players all on a pallet of six originals and three cover songs. Considered one of the finest trio bands on the jazz landscape today, the group is led by Puerto Rican pianist Jose Negroni with son Nomar Negroni on the drums and young bassist extraordinaire Josh Allen rounding out one exceptionally talented piano trio.

A classically-trained pianist, Negroni's chops on the instrument is a special feature here as his incredible finger play throughout the recording reveals. The music opens up on the flashy "Que Felicidad," where son Nomar makes his mark with splashy cymbal work in making a pounding statement of his own. The pianist lends a bit of the classical touch in a delicate intro to the title track "Esperanzas," featuring Ismael Vergara on the clarinet. The group takes a gentle journey on the sweet Latin love ballad "Encadenados," highlighted by the vocals from Maria Toledo on a beautiful number.

The first standard on the session is the Morgan/Fischer classic, "How High the Moon," enhanced by the alto sax voice of Dr. Ed Calle, turning in another exceptional solo performance in a wonderful new arrangement. Brazilian guitarist Ramatis Moraes, on the light and ambient "Don't Go Anywhere," showcases a special duo performance from the guitarist and pianist that elevates this track to a higher level.

The leader turns to the electric piano for "Morning / Una Manana," a sturdy Latin groove helped out by the vocals of Edgar Omar and the flugelhorn play of Luis “Perico” Ortiz for one of the true highlights of the set—one of many. The last two pieces, "Petite Fleur" and "Mis Recuerdos," are heighten by a four-piece string section, notably "Mis Recuerdos," a warm, classically-bent number magnified by the background strings closing out a dynamic session of music in delightfully elegant manner.

One sampling of Esperanzas is enough to give one new hope that music can conquer all. Pianist Jose Negroni and his exceptional trio has quite possibly recorded another Latin Grammy-nominated contender with another dazzling performance.

Track Listing

Que Felicidad; Esperanzas; Encadenados; How High the Moon; Don't Go Anywhere; Morning /Una Manana; Osvaldo; Petite Fleur; Mis Recuerdos.

Personnel

Jose Negroni: piano; Nomar Negroni: drums; Josh Allen: bass, acoustic; Ed Calle: saxophone; Ramatis Moraes: guitar; Ismael Vergara: clarinet; Luis “Perico” Ortiz: flugelhorn; Maria Toledo: voice / vocals; Edgar Omar: voice / vocals.

Additional Instrumentation

David Fernandez: violin; Ebert Ceballo: violin; Francesca Rossi: viola; Maria Salas: cello

Album information

Title: Esperanzas / Hopes | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Sony Latin

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