The Magic Place of vibraphonist/percussionist Alfredo Chacon is an enticing one, brimming with exotic colors and island scenery. Those who feel that jazz music can provide an escape from the daily pressures of life can find relief by soaking in Chacon's irresistibly upbeat Latin grooves. But Magic Place isn't just focused on Brazilian jazz; rather, Chacon uses Latin music as the foundation for which he layers on his other influences, namely fusion and soul. The result is a record with greater appeal and stylistic depth.
The opening title track is all about feel, and it kicks off the album with soothing melodies. By the second cut, Grados," Chacon's energized Latin roots suddenly awaken, and tumbling percussion provide a sizzling rhythmic attack. Similarly, Chacon's buoyant vibraphone elevates Madrid at Night" to a higher level of pure summer-afternoon bliss. Bossame Mucho" is foot-tapping bossa nova at its most infectious. On Mi Barrio," Chacon's vibraphone playing lights up the neighborhood; they sparkle like a row of twinkling stars.
For those unfamiliar with Chacon, Magic Place is the work of a veteran, one who has toured throughout Europe, enabling him to absorb the various offshoots of jazz on display here. His career essentially began in 1986 as a vibraphonist for the jazz act SinTrans. After relocating to Stockholm, Sweden in 1991, Chacon started performing with other established jazz artists; it marked the spot when his creativity took on a global scope. However, despite his world travels, it's obvious that music is what Chacon really calls home, a Magic Place that is open to all visitors.