May 2010

AAJ Staff By

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Following the success of recent commissioned pieces for large ensembles at Jazz At Lincoln Center's Rose Theater in Manhattan and Teatro Pregones in the Bronx, Papo Vazquez brought his Pirates Troubadours to Brooklyn to take part in the 11th Annual Central Brooklyn Jazz Festival with a free concert at the Public Library's Dweck Center for Contemporary Culture (Apr. 1st). The trombonist/composer led his band of powerful players through a set of mostly originals that blended jazz improvisation and AfroCaribbean rhythms, including bombas and plenas reflecting his Puerto Rican heritage. Opening dramatically with a bullhorn fanfare over Richie Flores' congas, Vazquez conducted his band—featuring longtime colleague, saxophonist Willie Williams and the versatile rhythm section of pianist Zaccai Curtis, bassist Dezron Douglas and drummer Alvester Garnett, with Anthony Carillo on bongo and additional percussion—through a wildly cacophonous prelude into his soulful swinger "Reverend." The bomba "Enemy Within" and plena "Sol Tropical" both highlighted Vazquez' considerable skills as a composer and arranger able to merge traditional rhythms with modern harmonies and personal melodic concepts while the Cuban son "Juan Jose" that separated the two illustrated a new way with that classic form. The modernistic "Manga Langa" and Middle Eastern-tinged "Oasis" that closed the set showed Vazquez prepared to take Latin Jazz into the future.

—Russ Musto

Recommended New Listening:

Anat Cohen—Clarinetwork: Live at the Village Vanguard (Anzic)

Jorrit Dijkstra—Pillow Circles (Clean Feed)

Yusef Lateef & Adam Rudolph—Towards the Unknown (Meta)

Olivier Manchon—Orchestre de Chambre Miniature ­ Volume 1 (Obliqsound)

Wallace Roney—If Only for One Night (HighNote)

Ralph Towner & Paolo Fresu—Chiaroscuro (ECM)

—David Adler NY@Night Columnist, AllAboutJazz.com

Geri Allen—Flying Toward The Sound (Motéma Music)

Carolyn Hume/Paul May—Come to Nothing (Leo)

José James/Jef Neve—For All We Know (Impulse!)

Dave Liebman/Evan Parker/Tony Bianco—Relevance (Red Toucan)

Ben Monder/Bill McHenry—Bloom (Sunnyside)

RED Trio—Eponymous (Clean Feed)

—Laurence Donohue-Greene Managing Editor, AllAboutJazz-New York

Tommy Babin's Benzene—Your Body is Your Prison (Drip Audio)

Jeremiah Cymerman—Under a Blue Green Sky (Porter)

Fight the Big Bull—All is Gladness in the Kingdom (Clean Feed)

noZen—Live! au Upstairs (Malasartesmusique)

OM—Willisau (Intakt)

Zeno de Rossi/Simone Massaron/Pacho/Giorgio Pacorig/Massimo Pupillo—Jusi in the Wine House (Long Song Records)

—Andrey Henkin Editorial Director, AllAboutJazz-New York


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