All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

230

John Santos Sextet: Filosofía Caribeña Vol. 1

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
John Santos is a sophisticated percussionist with impeccable credentials, so it is no surprise that Filosofía Caribeña, Vol. 1 is a brilliant foray into the broader scope of Caribbean music. As the title infers, there is an inherent rhythmic philosophy ingrained in this music which is as rich and vibrant as the culture which it represents.

The John Santos Sextet teams Santos up, once again, with flautist John Calloway, and saxophonist Melecio Magdaluyo. Augmented with a premier rhythm section, they succeed in encompassing the numerous aspects that combine Latin music with jazz, and that is just the beginning. As would be expected, the sound is laden with outstanding percussion, which is perfectly recorded at the proper layer in the mix so it is not overbearing or intrusive. Strategically placed in the center of the lineup, the track "Resistance," with its steady drumming buildup, is a prime example of how Santos can compose melodically around a percussion ensemble.

With flute the featured melodic instrument, coupled with Marco Diaz's piano montuno, the sextet offers an authentic touch of a polished Cuban dance band, where saxophone adds the appropriate flavors. The weaving in and out of styles, tempos, and moods is what distinguishes the song selections, and makes for an excellent repertoire.

There is a timely intermissions of two vocal tracks. "No Soy Combatiente (I Am Not A Warrior), featuring Pável Urkiza on vocals and guitar, is reminiscent of popular Cuban And Puerto Rican protest songs, called Nueva Trova, while "Refraneando," with its repetitive lyric, is based on the Afro-Rican bomba rhythm.

The record ends symbolically with "Carnaval SF," Santos' take on a New Orleans second line, which brings in the festive beats of carnival drums to take the disc out on a positive vibration.

Filosofía Caribeña, Vol. 1 is yet another evolution of Santos' continuing experimental efforts to express and delve deeper into unexpected possibilities, and the result is magnificent.

Track Listing: He Was One of Us; La Rumba Me Lleva; El Esqueleto Rumbero; No Soy Combatiente; Pop's Brim; Resistencia; The Sense of Now; Refraneando; Siete Cuevas; Ponme A Gozar; Carnaval SF.

Personnel: John Santos: chekere, tumbadoras, miscellaneous percussion; Dr. John Calloway: flute, piano (6, 10); Melecio Magdaluyo: tenor sax (1, 8, 9); flute (2) soprano sax (3, 4, 5, 7,); baritone sax 6, 10, 11); Saul Sierra: bass; Marco Diaz: piano, trumpet (6, 11); David Flores: drum set, katá (2); Javier Navarrette: miscellaneous percussion (1) cachimbo, clave (2) batas, chekere (6), quinto (11); Joey DeLeon: tumbadoras, segundo (2), tumbadoras, quinto, bata (6), rebajador (11); Pavel Urkiza: lead voice, coro, guitar (4); Claudia Gomez: lead vocals, coro (4); Willie Ludwig: coro (8); Beatriz Muñiz: coro (8); Steve Turre: trombones (11).

Title: Filosofía Caribeña Vol. 1 | Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Machete Records

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

Related Articles

Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Vol II CD/LP/Track Review
Vol II
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Months, Weeks and Days CD/LP/Track Review
Months, Weeks and Days
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Space Is The Place CD/LP/Track Review
Space Is The Place
by James Fleming
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Poetry in Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Poetry in Motion
by Liz Goodwin
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Jeg roper til deg" CD/LP/Track Review Jeg roper til deg
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 7, 2017
Read "A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers" CD/LP/Track Review A Tribute to Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: August 9, 2017
Read "While We Still Have Bodies" CD/LP/Track Review While We Still Have Bodies
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 14, 2018
Read "God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be" CD/LP/Track Review God Is More Than Love Can Ever Be
by Chris May
Published: April 12, 2018
Read "Involution" CD/LP/Track Review Involution
by Geno Thackara
Published: January 6, 2018
Read "A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard" CD/LP/Track Review A Rift in Decorum: Live at the Village Vanguard
by Mark E. Gallo
Published: July 27, 2017