Humanity is the most recent studio work by percussion guru Luis Garay. His music is the quintessential example of fusion: this record is at a true crossroads, where many different styles and influences meet up halfway through the track, going for a really unique flow and very special feel. Rhythms from Africa and grooves from the tropics converge beautifully in a complex yet appealing sea of melodic and rhythmic ideas.
This album has a really broad scope, and it features a lot of songs: with 20 tracks on its set list, Humanity really stands out as a musical journey through some of the most compelling and inspirational sounds of the world. On songs such as "Dancing Bird," Garay and his group managed to create a positive and uplifting atmosphere, while on the title cut there is a stronger focus on the textures and on the musical ambiance of the album.
While listening to songs such as "Mojo" or "Amazonia," I could almost close my eyes and feel like I am venturing into a deep tropical jungle, marveling at all the beautiful plants and amazing animals I'd see along the way. This is really an adventurous record, made with passion and a substantial amount of veteran skills.
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total)
First time I met Lee Konitz, my mentor who completely changed my life, in 1992. He was giving a masterclass at the Cologne Conservatory (Germany) where I was a freshmen (with playing experience around three years total). He saw an alto sax on my neck and said: Hey, how about you there, would you like to play something for us? I played a piece with the piano. OK, said Lee, how about you play something unaccompanied? Oh yeah! I was deep into transcribing Sonny Stitt and pretty much into playing as fast as possible as many right notes as possible. So I played Oleo in about 300 beats per minute and was very proud of myself. Lee was tapping his foot all the way through. Hmm, he said, that was in time and all that... (I thought - yeah, of course, haha!) and then he said, You've got a lot of quantity, how about quality? It took me 15 years to realize what he meant.