If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.
You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...
Tenor saxophonist Carlos Averhoff, Jr. draws on a rich cultural tradition blending infectious Afro-Cuban rhythms with intricate melodies delivered in a hard-driving manner on his impressive modern-styled, Latin jazz-tinged iRESI. A classically-trained musician from Cuba and the son of Miami-based saxophonist Carlos Averhoff, Averhoff, Jr. now resides in Boston after graduating from the prestigious Berklee College of Music and is a now an educator on the Berklee faculty and also teaches at the Concord Conservatory of Music. His career as a performer actually began in Cuba playing with pianist Roberto Fonseca among others and recording with the renowned Buena Vista Social Club before sharing the stage in the United States with the likes of fellow Cubans Chucho Valdes and Paquito D'Rivera along with jazz luminaries Dave Liebman, Jimmy Cobb, Louis Hayes and alto saxophonist Greg Osby who appears on this album as special guest.
The idea for this remarkable recording was born back in 2008 while still studying music with the unusual title for the project, coming from a West African Yoruba word which means essentially, the inner light of your soul; the lucky star on your shoulder. Perhaps the inner light of Averhoff's Cuban soul inspired him to pen compositions that, in some ways, mix the harmonies and rhythmic elements of Cuban music with modern aspects of contemporary jazz. As such, is an experiment of sorts, exploring new ground in attempt to find a new place on the ever-expanding landscape of this genre we call jazz.
Helping the young saxophonist on his first effort as leader, are some first-call musicians forming a very tight quintet among them, alto saxophonist Osby whose own jazz music label, Inner Circle Music, releases this album. There is a strong Berklee College of Music connection here with fellow faculty members, acclaimed bassist John Lockwood and drummer Francisco Mela rounding out the rhythm section and fellow countryman and award-winning composer, Aruán Ortiz anchoring the section on piano.
The music is striking with the opening "Overstructure" possessing a very modern jazz texture with no hint of the Latin rhythms and main theme of the recording. Firm chords from Ortiz on the keys introduce the following "So Far From Cuba," featuring Lockwood on a fine bass line solo and a splendid tenor joust by the leader in a generally light piece of music. The Afro-Cuban rhythms emerge quite nicely on such tracks as the engaging "Con Calma," the moving "La Caldoza" and "Tumbao para Bebo."
The one exception to the main theme of the album, is the gorgeous balladic "Alina" where the saxophonist plays it soft and gentle against the backdrop of Ortiz's light piano and Mela's soft brush strokes painting this one, sweet and mellow. Carlos Averhoff, Jr. is a dynamic fresh new voice on the saxophone, a talented musician who affirms that often stated axiom "the apple doesn't fall far from the tree," who here, plants a firm foundation with iRESI, a compelling musical statement deserving serious attention which no doubt, it will certainly receive.
Track Listing: Overstructure; Far from Cuba; Amorphous; iRESI; Con Calma; La Caldoza; Alina; Your Feelings; Tumbao para Bebo.
Personnel: Carlos Averhoff, Jr.: tenor saxophone; Greg Osby: alto saxophone; Francisco Mela: drums; Aruan Ortiz: piano; John Lockwood: bass.
As a songwriter and vocalist, I love jazz for the experience of being in the center of intense creativity. It is the most potent form of music for keeping the artist and the audience in the 'now. Being in the moment is essential for humans, and we need help in learning how to do that. As a songwriter, I need the depth of musicality that jazz voicings can give my stories. My songs seem light and whimsical, but the message is not.
I met my main collaborator, Mark Fitzgibbon, at one of his gigs. I needed to do my first original album, and his playing was masterful, robust, and beautiful. At the time, I didn't realize how suited we were as a team. We're onto our 4rth album together.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to a really clear and simple version of a song so you can then hear what the musicians are doing and enjoy their creativity and musicality. Also, you have to see jazz live to appreciate it fully. You'll never feel it the same way listening to a CD or online. You need the vibration to go through your body to really get it!
We sent a confirmation message to . Look for it, then click the link to activate your account. If you don’t see the email in your inbox, check your spam, bulk or promotions folder.
Thanks for joining the All About Jazz community!