New York percussionist Steven Kroon offers a percussive-laden session of Afro-Cuban rhythms, a slice of Brazil and draws on his Nuyorican heritage for a taste of the Puerto Rican flair, in presenting On The # 1, the fifth self- produced album of this veteran musician's 45-year plus musical journey. Long a part of the jazz, blues, R&B and Latin music world playing as both a sideman and leader of his own light ensembles, Kroon brings back the group he has previously recorded with for this effort and includes former Rolling Stones saxophonist Tim Reis as special guest.
The Oscar Hernandez/Kroon title track kicks off the music in percussive mambo style with the leader's conga beats and Vince Cherico's drumming prowess leading the way followed by sterling solo performances from vibraphonist Bryan Carrott and Reis. Flautist Craig Rivers joins the fray on "Roots" along with the others on an infectious romp with Kroon and Cherico providing the foundation. Fellow percussionist James Shipp provides a Puerto Rican bomba arrangement to pianist George Cables' "Phantom of The Island" featuring spirited play from Ruben Rodriguez on the electric bass, Igor Atalita on keyboards and guest Camilo Molina on the guido.
Besides the opening track and the highly energetic mambo "When There Is Love"two of the many highlights of the discthe classic "As Time Goes By" clearly stands out as the defining piece of the recording moving to a bit softer groove proving to be the definite keeper of the recording with vibraphonist Carrott playing the pronounced role on the piece.
Other notable tunes to look out for are, Donald Vega's swinging Brazilian samba "Dust Till Dawn," the Atalita-arranged "When There Is Love," the spicy "Camel Rise" and the Afro-Cuban textured finale "Touch." Containing an understandably heavy percussive flavor, Steven Kroon's On The # 1 features a sweet blend of flute and vibes accents accompanied well by vibrant piano and saxophone voicesall delivered by an A-list cast of players, making this Latin jazz album a must listen.
On The One; Roots; I Know You Do; Phantom of the Island; As Time Goes By; Dust Till Dawn; When There Is Love; Camel Rise; Touch.
Steven Kroon: congas, percussion; Igor Atalita: keyboards; Bryan Carrott: vibes; Craig Rivers: flute; Ruben Rodriguez: electric bass; Vince Cherico: drums; Tim Reis: tenor saxophone (1-3, 8); Camilo Molina: guido (4); James Shipp: pandero (6).
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