by James Nadal
While it appears normal to perform Cuban music in its natural rhythmic state, in a reversal of the rules of engagement, drummer Ignacio Berroa has re-imagined the popular songbook of his homeland, into Straight Ahead From Havana, shaking up established traditional elements to form a new jazz perspective. Joining Berroa in the trio are Martin Bejerano on piano, and Josh Allen on bass. Bejerano hails from Miami, where he is piano jazz director at the University of Miami, Allen attended ...read more
by Bill Leikam
Ignacio BerroaBach Dancing & Dynamite Society, Douglas Beach HouseHalf Moon Bay, CaliforniaJanuary 31, 2010 Sometimes you think you've heard it all, but then something comes along to let you know that there is even more. This was clearly the case on January 31, when Cuban drummer Ignacio Berroa and his quartet, consisting of Los Angeles-based Ben Wendel on sax, Otmaro Ruiz from Venezuela on piano and Mexico-based Rene Camacho on acoustic bass. Dizzy Gillespie ...read more
by Jeff Dayton-Johnson
For some insight into the codes to which the title of drummer Ignacio Berroa's debut album refers, compare his version of the António Carlos Jobim classic Inútil Paisagem with the excellent piano trio version by Aaron Goldberg on Worlds (Sunnyside, 2006). Goldberg takes it very slow and successfully taps into the number's rarefied, slightly decadent Brazilian chic. Berroa, in contrast, recasts the tune as a lovely, more buoyant and maudlin bolero.
There is a slight, not heavy-handed concept to Codes, ...read more
by Jim Santella
Ignacio Berroa spreads contemporary Latin jazz before him everywhere he goes. It's the music of Dizzy Gillespie, the music of Mario Bauza, and the music of Gonzalo Rubalcaba, David Sánchez, Ed Simon, John Patitucci, and the other members of Berroa's band.
Along with a vibrant Latin jazz rhythm and accented melodies, the ensemble adds invigorating solos to its successful recipe. Berroa and his rhythm mates hold down the group's foundation while two superb saxophonists and two creative pianists ...read more