296

Alexis Baro: Havana Banana

Jerry D'Souza By

Sign in to view read count
Alexis Baro: Havana Banana Over the years, Toronto has opened its arms to Cuban musicians. Among them is Alexis Baro, who came to the city in 2001. Baro has wide musical interests which include, quite naturally, traditional Cuban music and jazz. The latter derives much of its soul from his native land and the wider spectrum of Latin jazz.

Baro who wrote eight of these tunes, ropes in the past to add dimension. This bodes well on "Hasta Cunado, where the flighty Latin air wafts around the bop modes that fly from Jeff Bornes' tenor. Baro, who calls Dizzy Gillespie one of his influences, manifests Dizzy's approach in his playing, reaching out and hitting the high notes but keeping it all under control. He achieves an emotionally compact mood on "Like Spring's Drop, essaying the ballad with soulful and endearing power. His band is emphatically sublime; Jeff King keeps the embers aflame, his tenor moody yet passionate.

Baro pares it down to just himself and percussionist Joaquin Hidalgo, with Alberto Alberto and Jose "Papo Gonzales on vocals, for the sprightly "Tan Lejos. The singers are hoarse, but that seems to be the intent, as they fit in so well and add to the delight. Expectedly, "Footprints is given a Latin treatment, treading in softly on congas that get more pronounced and vibrant before they swirl around and get Baro to investigate. He splits the melody open, carves out some high notes, and even blitzes some fast ones. But even in the eye of the storm, he ferments some good ideas, leaving the leavening to Bornes and to Luis Guerra, whose turn on the piano cascades with percussive ebullience to lighten the mood and bring in a nice balance.

Track Listing: Footprints; Hasta Cuando; Nothing But Human Nature; Like Spring

Personnel: Alexis Baro: trumpet; Luis Guerra: piano; Paco Luviano: bass; Joaquin Hidalgo: bata drums & congas; Luis Orbegoso: congas; Chendy Leon: drums & timbales; Jeff Bornes: tenor saxophone; Tania Gill: piano; Joser Vargas: bass; Gilberto Moreaux: drums; Jeff King: tenor saxophone; Robert Botos: piano; Frank Botos: drums; Ashot Grioryan: alto saxophone; Michael Shand: piano; Alberto Alberto: vocals; Jose

Year Released: 2006 | Record Label: Groove United | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read Malnoia CD/LP/Track Review Malnoia
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Get 'Em CD/LP/Track Review Get 'Em
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Radioactive Landscapes EP CD/LP/Track Review Radioactive Landscapes EP
by Troy Dostert
Published: April 24, 2017
Read Wake Up Call CD/LP/Track Review Wake Up Call
by Glenn Astarita
Published: April 24, 2017
Read The Many Minds of Richie Cole CD/LP/Track Review The Many Minds of Richie Cole
by Rob Rosenblum
Published: April 24, 2017
Read LifeCycle CD/LP/Track Review LifeCycle
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 23, 2017
Read "Heartaches By The Number" CD/LP/Track Review Heartaches By The Number
by James Nadal
Published: May 13, 2016
Read "Caipi" CD/LP/Track Review Caipi
by Roger Farbey
Published: February 9, 2017
Read "2-Man Jazz Band" CD/LP/Track Review 2-Man Jazz Band
by Budd Kopman
Published: November 27, 2016
Read "Alto Manhattan" CD/LP/Track Review Alto Manhattan
by Roger Farbey
Published: November 15, 2016
Read "Once & Future" CD/LP/Track Review Once & Future
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Saturday Songs" CD/LP/Track Review Saturday Songs
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: August 5, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM RECORDS | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!