To call certain music ‘Latin fusion’ is to speak in redundancy. Just about all Latin, like America’s jazz music, is a fusion or amalgamation of many styles. Guitarist Juan Carlos Quintero’s motto is “if it works and sounds good adopt it.” On his fourth release as leader the Colombian-born, New Jersey resident (by way of Brussels) mixes multiple South American styles into a contemporary music that can be filed in numerous categories including world music, Latin, and definitely jazz.
Quintero, a one-time student at Berklee College of Music and New England Conservatory, grew up playing more Eddie Van Halen than Eddie Palmieri music. His return to ‘roots’ music includes The Way Home (1997) and Through The Winds (1992) and his work with Alex Acuna and Poncho Sanchez.
Los Musicos focuses on guitar melodies played against a backdrop of varying Latin flavors. There’s plenty of percussion throughout, as on the opener “Melina’s Rumba,” an infectious folk piece. Quintero tosses in traditional with modern as he touches on bolero, samba, rumba, and traditional cumbia-styled jam sessions. The authenticity of the mainly light fare comes from Quintero’s guitar and the presence of an accordion on several tracks. Its presence anchors the music in old-style sounds. Its romantic connotations cannot be denied.
Jazz is for me the most important cultural revolution of the 20th century and I'm proud to
play this kind of music. For me, jazz is more than a kind of music, it's the best way of playing
any musical material.