Home » Jazz Articles » Album Review » Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective: Fiesta at Caroga

15

Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective: Fiesta at Caroga

By

Sign in to view read count
Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective: Fiesta at Caroga
Whenever the word "Afro-Caribbean" appears in an album's title, there are sure to be plenty of bold and exciting rhythmic passages, and Fiesta at Caroga, recorded by the Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective at the 2022 Caroga Lake (New York) Music Festival, is no exception to the rule.

The Collective, founded by guitarist José Guzmán, is comprised for the most part of music professors at several central Illinois universities. As for the music itself, it leans heavily on such African and Caribbean staples as the Cuban son, Puerto Rican bamba, salsa, descarga, cha-cha and bembe, among other rhythms, using jazz as its counterpoint. Fiesta at Caroga marks the A-CJC's recorded debut, and a very good one it is.

The appetizing menu consists of half a dozen original compositions (authors unnamed), on the last two of which the Collective is augmented by the Caroga Arts String Orchestra (members unnamed). The A-CJC's rotating cast includes trumpeters Tito Carillo and Victor Garcia, neither of whom was able to make this date. The front line remains in capable hands (trumpeter Eric Devey, tenor saxophonist Brian Stark, trombonist Ben Weisiger ) while Guzman, bassist Ian Stewart and percussionists Stephen Busath, Sebastian Nassar and Brian Shank make sure the rhythm never flags.

Improvisations, mainly by Devey, Stark and Weisiger, are by and large brief but effective, always engaging and in lock step with the rhythmic component. A charming solo by an unnamed violinist on the soft-flowing, penultimate "Carino" lends added color, while the string section introduces the snappy closing number, "Baile Bailekita," on which Guzman offers a tantalizing statement. The first four numbers—"Descarga," "Xipirona Cha Cha," "El Canaveral," "El Volcan"—are no less dynamic and well-drawn.

Those who appreciate Latin rhythms leavened with jazz, ably performed by an earnest and talented group of artists, should find this lustrous Fiesta at Caroga both cordial and refreshing.

Track Listing

Descarga 2; Xipirona Cha Cha; El Canaveral; El Volcan; Carino; Baile Bailekita.

Personnel

Afro-Caribbean Jazz Collective
band / ensemble / orchestra
Eric Devey
trumpet
Brian Stark
saxophone
Ben Weisger
trombone
Stephen Busath
percussion
Brian Shank
percussion
Sebastian Nassar
percussion

Album information

Title: Fiesta at Caroga | Year Released: 2024 | Record Label: JGB Music


< Previous
Kneebody: Kneebodi

Comments

Tags


For the Love of Jazz
Get the Jazz Near You newsletter All About Jazz has been a pillar of jazz since 1995, championing it as an art form and, more importantly, supporting the musicians who create it. Our enduring commitment has made "AAJ" one of the most culturally important websites of its kind, read by hundreds of thousands of fans, musicians and industry figures every month.

You Can Help
To expand our coverage even further and develop new means to foster jazz discovery and connectivity we need your help. You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky ads plus provide access to future articles for a full year. This winning combination will vastly improve your AAJ experience and allow us to vigorously build on the pioneering work we first started in 1995. So enjoy an ad-free AAJ experience and help us remain a positive beacon for jazz by making a donation today.

More

Ain't No Sunshine
Brother Jack McDuff
Taylor Made
Curtis Taylor
Fathom
John Butcher / Pat Thomas / Dominic Lash / Steve...

Popular

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and upcoming jazz events near you.