125

Latin Jazz Night at the Hollywood Bowl

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Jazz At Lincoln Center's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra
Los Hombres Calientes
Willie Colon
The Hollywood Bowl
Hollywood, California
August 11, 2004

Latin Jazz Night at the Hollywood Bowl this year was filled with traditional influences from South and Central American countries; as well as the kind of hip, contemporary music that makes you want to get up and dance the night away.

The centerpiece of the first set was Chico O'Farrill's "Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite." Conducted by Arturo O'Farrill, Jazz At Lincoln Center's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra performed the creative piece with precision. Featuring sensitive solos by trumpeters John Walsh and Philip Michael Mossman, alto saxophonist Bobby Porcelli, trombonist Arturo Velasco, and trumpeter Jim Seeley, the band's interpretation sampled the various moods set forth by its composer 50 years ago. Through the music they rocked along festive streets with a powerful beat, and they also swept dreamily through forest-shaded pathways. A tenor battle between Mario Rivera and Ivan Renta on the up-tempo "Wild Jungle," and a hot Porcelli alto solo on "Para los Rumberos" sparked a session that returned our full attention to the capacity that Latin jazz holds for serious students of the genre.

Los Hombres Calientes forged their set from a combination of traditional Latin jazz, African roots, and the myriad flavors of New Orleans culture. Led by trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and percussionist Bill Summers, the ensemble performed pieces from their four recent CD volumes and DVD. "Voudou Hoodoo Babalu" warmed up the crowd, then "Foforo Fo Firi" carried them away. Summers' interaction with the Bowl audience had them loose and relaxed. The venue's four, giant closed-circuit television screens brought close-ups from many angles. Mayfield's trumpet intensity, always a pleasure to watch, moved the band through a series of rhythm-packed adventures. "Brazilian Sugar," "Creole Groove," "Africa" and "Night in Tunisia" rocked the house with authentic roots and a New Orleans confluence.

Willie Colon was hailed as "the King of Salsa," as he appeared with trombone in hand to lead his contemporary, 8-piece band in a program that had much of the audience dancing in the aisles. Cha cha cha, mambo, and other popular dances gave the evening an enjoyable ending lift. In a Coltrane-inspired tenor saxophone soliloguy, Bobby Franceschini was urged onward and upward before the band joined him in a majestic Spanish appeal. Colon wowed the audience with his personable vocals, which left a memorable impression.

The evening's only sour note came from the Bowl's supporting cast. The cameraperson providing close-ups for solo excursions was consistently late in picking up the action. Riveting soloists from each of these three ensembles were deep into their improvised soliloquies before the cameraperson recognized them. Los Hombres Calientes bassist Edwin Livingston, for example, had already completed his detailed solo spot before the camera was turned in his direction. Three fine Afro-Latin jazz bands such as this deserve nothing less than the best in support.


Shop

More Articles

Read Panama Jazz Festival 2017 Live Reviews Panama Jazz Festival 2017
by Mark Holston
Published: February 21, 2017
Read Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom Live Reviews Foundation of Funk at Cervantes Masterpiece Ballroom
by Geoff Anderson
Published: February 20, 2017
Read The Cookers at Nighttown Live Reviews The Cookers at Nighttown
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: February 16, 2017
Read Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens Live Reviews Monty Alexander Trio at Longwood Gardens
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 15, 2017
Read "The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel" Live Reviews The Billy Hart Quartet at the 21c Museum Hotel
by Joseph Boselovic
Published: September 28, 2016
Read "Nicholas Payton Trio at Dazzle" Live Reviews Nicholas Payton Trio at Dazzle
by Geoff Anderson
Published: March 9, 2016
Read "Panama Jazz Festival 2017" Live Reviews Panama Jazz Festival 2017
by Mark Holston
Published: February 21, 2017
Read "Jazztopad 2016, Part 1" Live Reviews Jazztopad 2016, Part 1
by Henning Bolte
Published: December 24, 2016
Read "Montreux Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Montreux Jazz Festival 2016
by Ian Patterson
Published: July 20, 2016
Read "Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2016" Live Reviews Freihofer's Saratoga Jazz Festival 2016
by R.J. DeLuke
Published: July 8, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

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!