3

Wayne Wallace: Latin Jazz Jazz Latin

Jeff Dayton-Johnson By

Sign in to view read count
Wayne Wallace: Latin Jazz Jazz Latin Trombonist Wayne Wallace and his Latin Jazz Ensemble have a well-oiled record-making machine that seems incapable of turning out a subpar album.

Therein lies the mystery. The ingredients that Wallace and his bandmates pour into the machine are eminently predictable—a studiously well-sampled array of Latin rhythms, didactically specified in the liner notes; a mixture of strong original compositions and Latin settings of jazz standards; tight ensemble playing by the quintet with plenty of space to breathe; a smattering of tasteful contributions by guest artists. The wonder is that this recipe, trotted out more or less annually, loses none of its freshness or capacity to amaze.

This time the covers include pianist Duke Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used To Be," set against Cuban rhythms, and pianist Thelonious Monk's "I Mean You" as a Puerto Rican bomba; both are great successes. Saxophonist John Coltrane's canonical "Giant Steps" recast as merengue is no less successful, perhaps, but pales next to the fiery version orchestrated by bandleader Tito Puente's Latin Jazz Ensemble (from El Rey, Concord Picante, 1984). (Wallace has been reluctant in the last few releases to cast as far afield for covers as he did on The Nature of the Beat, Patois, 2008, which took on Ray Charles and Earth, Wind and Fire to great effect. But it would be great if he would revive such experiments.) The originals are especially strong this time round, notably "La Habana," a beautiful vehicle for the horns, and "Puertas y Caminos," a propulsive rumba.

Wallace's trombone recalls the great trombone sections of the great Latin conjuntos, while his solos have the panache and lyrical intelligence of the late trumpeter Clifford Brown's improvisational style. Pianist Murray Low 's courtly precision is a highlight in the ensembles and solos alike. A trio of violinists (including Mads Tolling of the Turtle Island String Quartet) lend an old Cuban elegance (of the Orquesta Aragón variety) to the passages where they appear.

As ever, Wallace's group evinces the ironclad discipline and compulsory dance inducement of the great salsa orchestras, but seems somehow to be ever-so-slightly laid back: hard- driving but soft around the edges, in a way that is uniquely Wallace's.


Track Listing: ¡A Tí Te Gusta!; Things Ain't What They Used To Be; ¡Estamos Aquí!; Giant Steps; La Habana; I Mean You;Prelude to a Kiss; Melambo; Puertas y Caminos; Pasando El Tiempo.

Personnel: John Worley: trumpet; Wayne Wallace: trombone; Masura Koga: tenor saxophone; Mary Fettig: flute; Elena Pinderhughes: flute; Murray Low: piano; Jeremy Cohen: violin; Tregar Otton: violin; Mads Tolling: violin; David Belove: bass; Colin Douglas: trap drums; Michael Spiro: percussion; Pete Escovedo: timbales; John Santos: vocals; Orlando Torriente: vocals; Jesús Díaz: vocals; Mike Mixtacki: vocals.

Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Patois Records | Style: Latin/World


Related Video

Shop

More Articles

Read Road to Forever CD/LP/Track Review Road to Forever
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Avenida Graham CD/LP/Track Review Avenida Graham
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 27, 2017
Read TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2) CD/LP/Track Review TAI Fest #1 (Vol.1&2)
by Nicola Negri
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Goat Man & The House of the Dead CD/LP/Track Review Goat Man & The House of the Dead
by Dave Wayne
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Backlog CD/LP/Track Review Backlog
by James Nadal
Published: February 27, 2017
Read Acceptance CD/LP/Track Review Acceptance
by Tyran Grillo
Published: February 26, 2017
Read "Buena Vista Social Club" CD/LP/Track Review Buena Vista Social Club
by Nenad Georgievski
Published: March 19, 2016
Read "Desire & Freedom" CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read "The Picasso Zone" CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read "Infinitude" CD/LP/Track Review Infinitude
by John Kelman
Published: January 20, 2017
Read "Reflections" CD/LP/Track Review Reflections
by Andrew Luhn
Published: March 23, 2016
Read "ScratchBop" CD/LP/Track Review ScratchBop
by Mark F. Turner
Published: January 28, 2017

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: Jazz Near You | GET IT  

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!

Buy it!