345

Hector Martignon: Refugee

By

Sign in to view read count
Hector Martignon: Refugee 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; Eddies Ready; Tomorrows Past; You Wont Forget Me; Nothing Personal.

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

Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Zoho Music | Style: Straight-ahead/Mainstream


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Cedar Walton Cedar Walton
piano
Cal Tjader Cal Tjader
vibraphone
Tito Puente Tito Puente
band/orchestra
Bebo Valdes Bebo Valdes
piano
Hilton Ruiz Hilton Ruiz
piano
Xavier Cugat Xavier Cugat
composer/conductor

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Live At Zaal 100" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Zaal 100
by John Sharpe
Published: June 24, 2016
Read "EARS" CD/LP/Track Review EARS
by Rob Caldwell
Published: April 3, 2016
Read "Behind the Vibration" CD/LP/Track Review Behind the Vibration
by Mark F. Turner
Published: May 29, 2016
Read "Start to Move" CD/LP/Track Review Start to Move
by Rokas Kucinskas
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Ten" CD/LP/Track Review Ten
by Jeff Winbush
Published: March 25, 2016
Read "Blues and Ballads" CD/LP/Track Review Blues and Ballads
by Geno Thackara
Published: June 2, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!