All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

338

Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez: Italuba

Dan McClenaghan By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez arrived in New York from his native Cuba (via Italy) and slipped into the percussion driver's seat on recordings by pianists Michael Camilo and Chucho Valdes, trumpeter Roy Hargrove and guitar legend Carlos Santana, helping those artists snag a bunch of Grammy Awards. Italuba ""the title a melding of the names of his native land and that of the country that welcomed him on his initial expatriation""marks his overdue debut as a leader.

The set brims with a percussive gusto full of classic Afro-Cuban rhythms, with a muscular heft to the sound. On so many of the drummer-led efforts out there, picking the leader is no easy chore. It's obvious here. "El Negro's" drumming is, if not out front, cetainly a full and equal and joyously assertive partner in this quartet sound. His approach is similar to some of Tony Williams' early '90's solo discs with trumpeter Wallace Roney"" Neptune (Blue Note, '92) and Nature Heart, (Blue Note, '90), with dense, aggressive, hard-driving rhythms throughout, leaned here heavily toward the Latin side.

The disc sounds quite traditionally Latin, though the exuberance is cranked up a notch with electric bass and El Negro's muscular approach.

On "90 Miles to Miles" the band has that 1980s Miles Davis fusion thing down pat, featuring a whomping bass/drum fusion sound, with trumpeter Amik Guerra, muted, sizzling like a mad hornet in a Mason jar, stinging into the pounding beat with precision; while "A Night in Torino (Tunisia)" gives the Dizzy Gillespie classic a succinct new twist; while the opener, "Free Latin," explores some Latin-tinged free improvisation.

El Negro's debut has been a long time coming, but the wait was worth it for this energetic modern Latin sound.

Visit Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez at www.elnegro.com and Pimienta Records at www.pimientarecords.com .

Track Listing: Free Latin, Puerto Rico, Danzon For You, Tropical Madrid, 90 Miles to Miles, A Night in Torino (Tunisia), Only With Me, Que Negro Esta

Personnel: Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez—drums; Ivan Bridon Napoles—piano; Daniel Martinez Izquierdo—electric bass, baby bass; Amik Guerra—trumpet, flugelhorn

Title: Italuba | Year Released: 2004 | Record Label: Pimienta Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Shop Music & Tickets

Click any of the store links below and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Read Out in the Open CD/LP/Track Review
Out in the Open
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Contemporary Chaos Practices CD/LP/Track Review
Contemporary Chaos Practices
by Don Phipps
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Changed Beings CD/LP/Track Review
Changed Beings
by Chris May
Published: November 16, 2018
Read We Must Mustn't We CD/LP/Track Review
We Must Mustn't We
by John Sharpe
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One That Is You. CD/LP/Track Review
Two Infinitudes; The One You "see" and the One...
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 16, 2018
Read Always Forward CD/LP/Track Review
Always Forward
by Jack Bowers
Published: November 15, 2018
Read "Frescalalto" CD/LP/Track Review Frescalalto
by Ian Patterson
Published: May 22, 2018
Read "On Air" CD/LP/Track Review On Air
by Doug Collette
Published: December 3, 2017
Read "Horizons" CD/LP/Track Review Horizons
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: December 27, 2017
Read "Let Your Light Shine On" CD/LP/Track Review Let Your Light Shine On
by Chris May
Published: May 27, 2018
Read "Pass If Music" CD/LP/Track Review Pass If Music
by Mark Sullivan
Published: June 26, 2018
Read "Weather Walker" CD/LP/Track Review Weather Walker
by Roger Farbey
Published: June 11, 2018