Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

345

Hector Martignon: Refugee

By

Sign in to view read count
In listening to pianist/vocalist Hector Martignon's Refugee, I was immediately attracted to his notable sidemen, including Richard Bona, Kenny Baron, Eddie Gomez and Jeff "Tain Watts. Martignon obviously has the chops, and so the only question is if his music is compelling enough to carry off an album as a leader. He has done so admirably.

The title song is a hard-driving tour de force, with a deeply grounded bass line from accomplished Cameroonian virtuoso Bona. With the bottom firmly established by Bona, drummer Willard Dyson and manic percussionist Samuel Torres, Martignon shows his compositional skills with many midstream tempo changes and darting acoustical piano solos, all sending home a mainstream sound with a decidedly Latin flavor. Bona's flawlessly executed solo is a joy to behold in its technical virtuosity, third world musicality and endless creativity.



On "99 Macdougal and "Tomorrow's Past, Martignon takes off on electric piano behind a different rhythm section comprised of bassist John Benitez and drummer Horacio "El Negro Hernandez, along with the ever frenetic Torres. This group has a totally different feel, and the high point here is the wonderfully fluid Latin-inspired guitar work by Edgardo Miranda, a talent that should be closely followed in the future.



Jazz pianist Kenny Baron was a strong influence and teacher to Martignon, and so hearing the two play counterpoint to each other—Martignon on acoustic piano and Baron on electric piano—on the easy swing of "Beauty Sleep was a real treat. Martignon demonstrates to Baron that he has absorbed his lessons well.



"Eddie's Ready is a tune Martignon created especially for Refugee's other virtuoso bassist, Eddie Gomez. Martignon starts off a synchronized exchange with Gomez that leads into some fine solo work by Gomez, complete with his audible voicing. While the piano work is driven by Gomez's steady but challenging bass lines, the tune is subtly anchored by the accomplished but not overpowering percussion work of Watts and Sammy Figueroa.



"You Won't Forget Me is a blues-oriented, straight-ahead ballad that showcases Mark Whitfield on guitar, with a strong and facile performance by bassist Matt Garrison. It demonstrates that Martignon's abilities, while strongly Latin-influenced, are not stuck in this one modality.



The finale is the catchy Don Grolnick tune "Nothing Personal made famous by Michael Brecker on his eponymous 1987 Impulse! debut. Here Martignon is again featured on electric piano, and Richard Bona plies his rapid-fire bass. Constantly challenging the already formidable timing, both showcase their virtuosity on a tune that lends itself perfectly to such a journey. Once again Miranda's guitar is a noteworthy counterpoint, as is Willard Dyson's drum work.



All in all Refugee is a satisfying piece of music that brings together artistry on many different fronts, doesn't pigeonhole him as a Latin-only player, and opens the door to keep a watchful eye on Martignon's developing and undeniable talents.


Track Listing: Refugee; 99 MacDougal; Observatory; Beauty Sleep; Eddie

Personnel: Hector Martignon: piano, vocals (3); Kenny Barron: electric piano (4); Edgardo Miranda: guitar (1, 2, 6, 8); Mark Whitfield: guitar (3, 4, 5, 7); Justin Quinn: guitar (1, 8); Richard Bona: bass (1, 8); John Benitez: bass (2, 6); Matt Garrison: bass (3, 7); Eddie Gomez: bass (4, 5); Willard Dyson: drums (1, 8); Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez: drums (2, 6); Dafnis Prieto: drums (3, 7); Jeff "Tain" Watts: drums (4, 5); Samuel Torres: percussion (1, 2, 6, 8); Sammy Figueroa: percussion (4, 5); Roberto Quintero: percussion (3).

Title: Refugee | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Zoho Music

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles

More Articles

Read Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House CD/LP/Track Review Not Nearly Enough To Buy A House
by Mark Sullivan
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Journey to a New World CD/LP/Track Review Journey to a New World
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Disappeared Behind the Sun CD/LP/Track Review Disappeared Behind the Sun
by John Sharpe
Published: January 21, 2018
Read 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert CD/LP/Track Review 2018 Neujahrskonzert New Year’s Concert
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 21, 2018
Read Lux CD/LP/Track Review Lux
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 20, 2018
Read Unleashed CD/LP/Track Review Unleashed
by John Sharpe
Published: January 20, 2018
Read "Volume III: Magnetic Cycles" CD/LP/Track Review Volume III: Magnetic Cycles
by Geno Thackara
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Converging Tributaries" CD/LP/Track Review Converging Tributaries
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 5, 2017
Read "Morphogenesis" CD/LP/Track Review Morphogenesis
by Troy Dostert
Published: June 12, 2017
Read "Presence" CD/LP/Track Review Presence
by Geannine Reid
Published: January 17, 2018
Read "Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian" CD/LP/Track Review Bright Lights & Promises: Redefining Janis Ian
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 14, 2017
Read "Italy 2016" CD/LP/Track Review Italy 2016
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 30, 2017