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ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex García’s AfroMantra: This Side of Mestizaje

Read "This Side of Mestizaje" reviewed by Roger Farbey

From the word go, this tight band shows its mettle with upbeat lyricism as evidenced in the opener “Believe." A Chick Corea Return to Forever era influence is apparent with “11:11 Spirit," Fender Rhodes to the fore. The title track clearly displays what a drum-led group sounds like, Alex Garcia's intelligent and incisive percussion beating a path for the others to follow. The irresistible theme of “Azul Infinito" burns into the memory banks just as ...

ALBUM REVIEWS

Alex Garcia's Afromantra: Espiritu Optimista

Read "Espiritu Optimista" reviewed by Chip Boaz

When a Latin jazz artist shapes their approach, they can let rhythms drive the sound, or they can incorporate the rhythms into a compositional focus.

Emphasizing the music's rhythmic aspect highlights dance styles and simplistic harmonic writing. Such musicians rearrange standards and complete their repertoire with commercial compositions. Musicians that integrate Latin rhythms write original pieces that explore vast harmonic territories and multiple song forms. They create stimulating improvisational platforms and give their musicians space to ...


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