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If age does not wither nor custom stale, then Francisco Aguabella drives the point home very well. Ochimini proves that he still has plenty of zest and fire which he pours into his music. Even in the quieter climes there is a slow simmer that brings in a cozy comfort. Aguabella leads the charge, and he has an exciting band that keeps the rhythm throbbing and places the solos at a level that deepens the lure.
Aguabella flies right off bringing in a heady rumba on the title track. The rhythm snakes its way in, and then Luis Eric Gonzales filters the moody in a slow, sensuous sway. Along the way, Gonzales adds pithy shards that ride the rhythm, a precursor to the vocals that complete a heady mix. Eddie Palmieri’s “Guajira Candela” ups the magnetism. Alfredo Ortix and Fermin Sifontes get into the groove with their singing and then Donald Vega pushes the harmonic envelope on the piano with an array of permutations. And if that wasn’t enough Poncho Sanchez on the congas slips into the body of the beat and adds the final impress. On the less traditional side, “Nuestra Era,” has a lighter texture but Justo Almario zaps in the swing on the tenor sax and Jules Rowell smears the melody line to add enough punch to make it appealing.
Rowell also gives a welcome adjunct to “Makin’ Whoopee” after Gonzales has heralded the song on muted trumpet. The trombonist has a lithe sense of swing, his pacing deliberate and warm. And when he and Gonzales converse in an exchange of choruses, it is the icing on an enticing outing. “Love For Sale” cavorts on the funky bass of John Belzaguy, a bright and breezy turn on the tenor from Almario and then Aguabella lets loose on the congas and delves into the deeper nooks of the rhythm.
There are many shades to the music, and a whole lot of allure.
As a kid, my mom told me I'd like jazz. I thought she was nuts. Then I went to hear Cannonball Adderley (with Nat Adderley, George Duke, Walter Booker, Roy McCurdy and Airto) and everything changed. Yeah, mom knows best.