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Ray Obiedo: Latin Jazz Project Vol. 2


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Ray Obiedo: Latin Jazz Project Vol. 2
Sometimes it is difficult to banish the words of Ecclesiastes from your mind when listening to a recording: "There is no new thing under the Sun." While that may be true of music in particular—one builds on the past, just as in other fields—it is no good reason for not listening or for simple indifference. Gerald Wilson's "Viva Tirado" has been around since the 1970s, and Wilson himself has been quoted as being once surprised by hearing the El Chicano do it. Well, Wilson's complaint might have been understandable, if it weren't for the fact that "Viva Tirado" is, with some modification, John Coltrane's "Impressions." That kind of modal construction was in the air when Wilson wrote Tirado. It was more of a question of creatively assimilating the influence than of outright imitation.

You can say the same about Ray Obiedo's very agreeable outing, which features a number of originals, to be sure, and a (no other way to describe it) star- studded array of musical talent from the East Bay, which has brought so much to Latin jazz. Sheila E is here, and to very good effect, and for that matter, so is her brother, Peter Michael Escovedo. David Garibaldi of Tower of Power fame is here too. So, if you are thinking there is simply too much firepower here for this to be anything other than a very good recording, you would not be wrong. Add Mike Olmos on trumpet and Bob Mintzer on saxophone and you have a full-blooded Pachanga going. And in South Texas, a pachanga is a party, not just a musical genre.

What is distinctive, though, is what the absence of "volcanic drumming and shrieking trumpets." Now mind your manners. Not everything on the Scoville Scale for chili is going to leave you running for help: there are degrees of caliente, right? By the Scoville Scale, this fare is mildly spicy. It will get your attention for sure, but you will not require medical assistance after partaking. With touches of Wes Montgomery, it is the furthest thing from raucous. Add a michelada, and you have a perfect evening.

Track Listing

Still Life; Criss Cross;Beatnik; Santa Lucia; Belafonte; Uno Dos; Viva Tirado; Big World.


Ray Obiedo: guitar; Bob Mintzer: saxophone; Sheila E.: percussion; David Garibaldi: drums; Mike Olmos: trumpet; Peter Horvath: piano; David K. Matthews: piano; Norbert Stachel: saxophone; Rita Thies: flute; Melecio Magdaluyo: woodwinds; Joe Cohen: saxophone; Erik Jekabson: trumpet; Mike Rinta: trombone; Jeff Cressman: trombone; Doug Rowan: saxophone, alto; Bob Crawford: guitar, electric; Marc Van Wageningen: bass, electric; Lilan Kane: voice / vocals; Sandy Cressman: voice / vocals; Phil Hawkins: drums.

Additional Instrumentation

David Belove, bass; Dewayne Pate, bass; Peter Michael Escobedo, percussion; Michael Spiro, percussion; Jon Bendich, congas; Karl Perazzo; timbales; Colin Douglas, wood block; Billy Johnson, drums; Paul van Wageningen, drums; Jenny Meltzer, vocals.

Album information

Title: Latin Jazz Project Vol. 2 | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Rhythmus Records

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