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Angel Roman & Mambo Blue: Festive Interplay

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Angel Roman & Mambo Blue: Festive Interplay
Latin Jazz as presented by guitarist Angel Roman, is a combination of Afro Latin rhythms from a variety of sources, but when blended with Brazilian, pop, and fusion the music results in a new stew which, while recognizable, has different flavours, fragrances and textures. Delivering this mélange is the band Mambo Blue, whose membership ebbs and flows depending on Roman's residency. This iteration is composed mainly of musicians from Austin, Texas, and they have delivered on their talents with a stand up session beginning with "Why Not." After a stylish intro, the band slips into a funky vibe after which it holds the line on a conventional Latin groove.

Every track on this release was arranged and written by Roman, and he works to convey his eclectic approach to rhythm. Such is the case with "Collective Cha," which starts out with an intro that focusses on the horns before settling into the cha-cha rhythm. Flutist John Mills follows the flow with an on-the-money solo.

The title track, "Festival Interplay," does not follow the traditional Latin style meter and form, but Roman nevertheless creates a sparkling piece that provides trumpeter Pete Rodriguez ample space to undertake some stratospheric exploration. For a change of pace, the romantic ballad "Never Far" clearly fits the bill. With Damian A. Garcia's Fender Rhodes laying down the theme, there is some delightful interplay among the front line with tenor saxophonist Russell Haight offering a solid solo. Always interested in Latin tunes with a difference, Roman composed "3 Sisters" in 3/4 time, attaching (upon close listening) a vague Monkish flair. The final track on this outing "Who Knows Maybe Tomorrow." It begins with a smooth jazz lead by the trumpet of Rodriguez, followed by some sly work from trombonist Andre Hayward. It quickly slides into a traditional bolero until the punchy chorus lead by drummer Brennen Temple and percussionist Andy Smith wraps things up.

Track Listing

Why Not; Collective Cha; Dreaming In Bomba; Festive Interplay; Never Fair; Not Sure So Sure; 3 Sisters; The Quest; Indi-Go-Go (Alegria); Who Knows Maybe Tomorrow.

Personnel

John Mills: flute; Pete Rodriguez: trumpet; Justin Vasquez: saxophone, alto; Russell Haight: saxophone, tenor; Andre Hayward: trombone; Damian A. Garcia: piano; Joel Guzman: piano; Nicholas Litterski: piano; Angel Roman: guitar; Jose Aponte: drums; Brennan Temple: drums; Andy Smith: drums; Samuel Lopez: bass; Carmelo Torres: drums.

Album information

Title: Festive Interplay | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Self Produced

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