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ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Jennifer Wharton's Bonegasm: Bonegasm

Read "Bonegasm" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

The bass trombone occupies a unique niche, serving as that most powerful of pedal peddlers, the anchor of a big band's brass section, and the ballast stabilizing harmonies. Unfortunately, the instrument also holds status as a seriously pigeonholed force. While you can't argue with the usefulness of its robust, below-the-staff whole notes, this horn is made ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Greg Diamond: Avenida Graham

Read "Avenida Graham" reviewed by Edward Blanco

Brooklyn-based jazz guitarist Greg Diamond issues his most culturally diverse musical mosaic on Avenida Graham reflecting a blend of jazz and the Latin sound that has been an influential part of his life. Being half Eastern European Jewish and half Colombian, Diamond long ago learned to appreciate the Latin sounds listening to the music of Hector ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

David Virelles: Antenna

Read "Antenna" reviewed by Mark Sullivan

Pianist/composer David Virelles has combined his Cuban heritage with jazz before, most notably on his 2014 ECM leader debut Mbókò, which had the subtitle “Sacred Music for Piano, Two Basses, Drum Set and Biankoméko Abakuá." But this EP--which is being released exclusively on vinyl and digitally--takes things in an entirely new electro-acoustic direction. It's a dense ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Cristina Morrison: Baronesa

Read "Baronesa" reviewed by Edward Blanco

After visiting the Galapagos Island to film a docudrama based on the life of Baroness Eloise Von Wagner de Bosquet, Ecuadorian-American mezzo soprano vocalist Cristina Morrison loved the place so much she moved to Ecuador and spent ten years there. Falling in love with the story of the Baroness, her second album Baronesa, presents the songstress ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Manuel Valera Sr.: Recuerdos

Read "Recuerdos" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

Recuerdos might translate as “Remembrances," but save for maybe a track or two, this album is clearly not about nostalgia--it is a contemporary Latin jazz album filled with inspired moments--among these “Solitude," a tune in which veteran saxophonist Manuel Valeras, Sr. and his son (pianist Manuel Valera) share a close duet. “Si La Comprienderas" opens the ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Manuel Valera Sr.: Recuerdos

Read "Recuerdos" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

There's quite a bit of Cuban music history in Manuel Valera Sr.'s fingertips. Over the course of his career, he's put his saxophone to good use in the Orquesta Cubana de Musica Moderna, Mario Bauza's Afro Cuban Jazz Orchestra, Machito's Orchestra, Paquito D'Rivera's Big Band, and numerous other groups; he's played alongside bassist Israel “Cachao" Lopez, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Chiemi Nakai: Transformation

Read "Transformation" reviewed by Edward Blanco

New York-based pianist Chiemi Nakai is a native of Japan who began her musical journey in training as a classical pianist but preferred the sounds of Afro-Cuban and other Latin music. Moving to the Big Apple in 1998, Nakai began her professional career performing and touring with international Latin music stars, formed her own group, Chiemi ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Manuel Valera & New Cuban Express: Expectativas

Read "Expectativas" reviewed by Edward Blanco

A follow up to pianist Manuel Valera's 2013 Grammy--nominated New Cuban Express, his seventh album as leader, Expectativas continues the melding of Afro-Cuban rhythms with the modern fusion jazz sound fusing the two into a new form of jazz best described as “modern Latin fusion." Consisting of eleven originals and one cover, the project is a ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEWS

Calixto Oviedo: New York, NY. July 9, 2013

Read "Calixto Oviedo: New York, NY. July 9, 2013" reviewed by Ernest Barteldes

Calixto Oviedo, “Calixto's Way"
New Dimensions of Latin Jazz: Cuban Drum Series
Jazz Standard
New York, NY

July 9, 2013

Master drummer Calixto Oviedo's quintet--pianist Carlos Averhoff, Jr., electric bassist Nestor Del Prado, percussionist Mauricio Herrera and tenor saxophonist Gustavo Ramirez--set off its early set at New York's Jazz Standard with a contemporary, ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEWS

Miki Hirose: Scratch

Read "Scratch" reviewed by Dan Bilawsky

Japanese trumpeter Miki Hirose joined the ranks of the relocated in 2003, when he adopted New York as his home; he's been making his presence felt ever since, working with Latin groups, big bands, genre-stretching small groups, and more. He's also logged time with risk-taking heavyweights, like organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, and two elder statesmen of ...