All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

328

Ray Mantilla: Good Vibrations

By

Sign in to view read count
On the cover of Good Vibrations, Ray Mantilla is dressed in black, as if in mourning. It seems appropriate. Two of the nine songs are tributes to the late Tito Puente, and in the liner notes, he dedicates "baritone con Bata to "honor all our heroes of percussion who are here now and who have passed on. Good Vibrations takes a jab at the supernatural, not asking questions about life, death, the pursuit of happiness and what have you, but answering them, loudly, aggressively and with congas.

Backed by Enrique Fernandez (baritone saxophone and flute), Edy Martinez (piano), Mike Freeman (vibes), Cucho Martinez (bass), Bill Elder (drums) and special guest Steve Berrios (percussion), Mantilla sculpts a record that is simultaneously festive and solemn. It's a melodic paradox that's ubiquitous in jazz, but Mantilla has paved new ground here.

Despite its spiritual underpinnings, Good Vibrations comes across as a celebratory album that's elegiac in neither concept nor arrangement. Mantilla leads the congas to contour Martinez's dexterous dominion of the keys, creating a frothy blend of rhythmic complexity that comes across like a delicately synchronized seduction. "Maria Cervantes is what lovesickness should sound like, in all its tragic glory. There may be a time to mourn, but there's also a time to dance—and that's biblical. Good Vibrations tolerates no dissenting arguments.

Track Listing: Flying Home; Midnight Sun; Maria Cervantes; For Keeps; Ya No Me Quieres (Bolero For Tito); Blues For Queen D; Camino Al Cielo Too; Namesake; Bari Con Bata.

Personnel: Enrique Fernandez: baritone sax, flute; Edy Martinez: piano; Mike Freeman: vibes; Cucho Martinez: bass; Bill Elder: drums. Special Guest: Steve Berrios: percussion.

Title: Good Vibrations | Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: HighNote Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
 

The Connection

Savant Records
2013

buy
Good Vibrations

Good Vibrations

HighNote Records
2006

buy
Man-Ti-Ya

Man-Ti-Ya

Savant Records
2005

buy
 

Mantilla

Abracadabra Music
1978

buy

Related Articles

Read Smart Grid CD/LP/Track Review
Smart Grid
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Monochrome CD/LP/Track Review
Monochrome
by Hrayr Attarian
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Attitude Manouche CD/LP/Track Review
Attitude Manouche
by Chris Mosey
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Geometry of Caves CD/LP/Track Review
Geometry of Caves
by Troy Dostert
Published: July 16, 2018
Read This World of Dew CD/LP/Track Review
This World of Dew
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 16, 2018
Read Gegenschein CD/LP/Track Review
Gegenschein
by Karl Ackermann
Published: July 15, 2018
Read "Travelers" CD/LP/Track Review Travelers
by John Kelman
Published: May 18, 2018
Read "Es:sensual" CD/LP/Track Review Es:sensual
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 3, 2018
Read "Dreams" CD/LP/Track Review Dreams
by Jerome Wilson
Published: January 7, 2018
Read "Live" CD/LP/Track Review Live
by Karl Ackermann
Published: September 14, 2017
Read "Weapons Of Mass Distraction" CD/LP/Track Review Weapons Of Mass Distraction
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 31, 2017
Read "Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet" CD/LP/Track Review Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quintet
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: July 19, 2017