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Among the top working timbaleros on the Latin/jazz scene, Edgardo Cintron has joined with his Azuca Band to release a CD that exquisitely merges the two musics while remaining true to the soul of both traditions. From Fathers to Sons: Old School Clave packs plenty of punch with an eleven-piece orchestra that swings as well as salsas, and features a rhythm section that doesn't let up. A mix of ballads, standards and exceedingly danceable salsa, the session is heavy on the latter.
The festive opener, "Azuca, sets an immediate tone of precise and complex Latin rhythms, combined with David Colon's jazzier piano work. Trumpeter Angel Velez plays a commanding horn throughout and shines on the more traditional cuts, such as "China/Tumbao Y Bongo, the sweet "Cochero and the dual closers "Vamonos Guajira and "Vamonos Pal Monte.
The oft-presented "Ojos Verdes is given a touching ballad treatment here with appropriately demure muted trumpet and delicious vocals. Strayhorn's "A Train flys off the tracks to Puerto Rico and then spends "A Night in Tunisia, where Dizzy's classic is made even worldlier with a fresh infusion of Latin rhythm. Salsa rules on the fiery "Bilongo. "Family, the session's thematic piece, is an achingly smooth paean to past, present and future.
Based in New Jersey, Cintron and the Azuca Band are well known among fans of the Cape May Jazz Festivals and for their multiple appearances at Connecticut's Mohegan Sun Casino. With this release they show they are up to the standards of the top Latin/jazz bands in the country. In the tradition of Puente, Palmieri and Barretto, Cintron doesn't sacrifice the rhythm while giving his musicians plenty of room to solo and explore.
Track Listing: Azuca; Guantanamera; A Train; Bilongo; China/Tumbao Y Bongo; Ojos Verdes; Picadillo; Cochero; Family; A Night in Tunisia; Vamonos Guajira; Vamonos Pal Monte.
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.