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In Case You Missed It is percussionist Marlon Simon's fourth album over the past ten years. His brother, trumpeter Michael, appears on two tunes while his better-known sibling, pianist Edward, is on all but one of the album's nine tracks.
Edward Simon has recorded extensively with altoist Bobby Watson's Horizon, as well as on a number of recordings including the highly praised Oceanos(Criss Cross, 2007), co-led with altoist David Binney. Marlon's group, The Nagual Spirits, varies in size from a quintet to twelve-piece. In addition to the Simon brothers, the ensembles feature a combination of Latin musicians and others including saxophonist Peter Brainin, trumpeter Alex Norris and bassists Michael Boone and Boris Kozlov.
The music is Latin jazz with an asterisk. On the opening "Overture, Marlon, with a full-sized ensemble, demonstrates that he is a traditionalist unafraid of mixing in new ideas, with constantly shifting tempos and shadings. On Bobby Watson's title tune, Marlon's percussive talents come to the fore. Brainin takes a gutsy, Hank Mobley-style solo on Hilton Ruiz's "Home Cooking a highlight of the albumurged onward by Marlon's propulsive drumming. Moises Simon's "Manicero," featuring Marlon's work on drums and timbales alongside Roberto Quintero's notable congas, clave and guiro, is another highlight, while the lights get turned down for Armando Manzanero's "Huele a Peligro," played at a bit more than a bolero tempo, with fine solos from Edward Simon and Brainin.
In Case You Missed It is an album for both aficionados of Latin jazz and those who can appreciate the injection of some contemporary jazz playing. There are a lot of artists providing new material in this sub-genre, and this is one that deserves attention.
Track Listing: Overture; In Case You Missed It; Home Cooking; Pa Los Morillo; Un Canto a Ericka;
Passing By; Huele a Peligro; Manicero; Root Medley.
Personnel: Marlon Simon: percussion, drums, timbales, coro, musical direction, voice; Peter Brainin: saxophones; Edward Simon: piano; Roberto Quintero: congas, percussion, voice; Alex Norris: trumpet; Michael Simon: trumpet (3, 9); Michael Boone: bass (1, 3, 4, 6, 9); Boris Kozlov: bass (2, 7, 8); Nelson Gonzalez: guiro (3); RomŠn Diaz voices, bata iya (1, 5, 9); Diego Lopez: bata, itotele (1, 5, 9); Carlos Rubio: violin (1, 5, 9); Adriana Linares: viola (1, 5, 9); Ali Bello: violin (1, 5, 9); Miguel Rojas: cello (1, 5, 9).