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Chris Washburne and the SYOTOS Band: Fields Of Moons

Mark Corroto By

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Latin jazz is typically characterized by its passion and rhythms. For the past twenty years, trombonist Chris Washburne has been leading his SYOTOS band through the fervor and the pulse of Latin jazz. His home cooked meals are featured every week in New York City.

His band, SYOTOS, has released four prior discs, the most recent being The Land Of Nod (Jazzheads, 2006). While those discs tended to be red hot burners, Fields Of Moons turns down the temperature to a simmering boil, focusing on the quieter side of SYOTOS by playing ballads, lullabies, and some very sexy love songs.

Quieter, yes; but this is Latin jazz and the passion felt is as apparent, as if the group were playing red-hot numbers. Washburne penned two tracks—the seductive title track, that relies on interlaced harmonies, and "Sea Of Slumber," a percussive-backed ballad that features the leader's long trombone lines, before flugelhornist John Walsh and saxophonist Ole Mathisen paint the song with vivid pastels.

Mathisen is the trombonist's partner in the international collaboration known as NYNDK, a Norway/Denmark/New York jazz-meets-classical ensemble, and contributes two compositions to this set" "Non Spoken" and "Evening Rules," both favoring rich harmonies and the percussive drive that is Latin jazz.

Throughout, the tracks sizzle with the band's passion for a slow burn. The slow boil of "Obsesión," by Pedro Flores, the Puerto Rican bandleader of the 1930s and '40s, condenses and concentrates into a Latin distillation of luscious sexiness. All the music here takes its cues from the great pianist Ahmad Jamal, as evidenced by his trademark song, "Poinciana."

Track Listing: Fields Of Moons; Seas Of Slumber; Obsesión; Poinciana; Duke Ellington's Sound Of Love; When Lights Are Low; Non Spoken; Evening Rites; Long Time Coming; Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans.

Personnel: Chris Washburne: trombone, tuba; John Walsh: trumpet, flugelhorn; Ole Mathisen: tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone, clarinet; Barry Olsen: piano; Leo Traversa: electric bass; Diego Lopez: drums; Cristian Rivera: percussion.

Title: Fields Of Moons | Year Released: 2010 | Record Label: Jazzheads

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