169

Henry Cole and the Afro Beat Collective: Roots Before Branches

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Henry Cole and the Afro Beat Collective: Roots Before Branches As a rising jazz drummer in today's environment, Henry Cole's percussive sound has emerged in works with seminal artists such as Miguel Zenon, David Sanchez, and the Le Boeuf Brothers. Like his peers, Cole is challenging old ideas and channeling new concepts into the mix. The debut of Roots Before Branches , with his Afro-Beat Collective, is full of fresh ideas that resist being easily compartmentalized.

Inspired by the music of his homeland in Puerto Rico with thick doses of Afrobeat, underground club music, electronica, jazz, and other stimuli, Cole's underlying roots are exposed as new offshoots emerge and thrive incorporating everything from sounds of the street parties, dancehalls, poetry, funk and rock aesthetics, to form something that is uniquely Cole-centric.

The program's changeability is dizzying yet infectious. One minute there's the sweating funkiness of "No Eres Tu, Soy Yo" that does Fela Kuti proud, or some fierce words from poet/rapper Hermes Ayala in the punkish "Trabájala"; the next, there are strains of Carlos Santana blues-rock on "Una par Isabél" provided by guitarist Adam Rogers, or an interplanetary party in "Cominezo," where the rhythmic dance of the plena, bomba, and Cole's drum kit syncopate with ethnic vocals and electronic keyboards. Another snapshot of Cole's imagination is found in "Uncovered Fears," based upon Mara Pastor's poem and featuring an eloquent recitation from Pastor, silhouetted against a backdrop of strings donned with a European classical music vibe and Cole's cultural imprint.

As these different sounds swirl together, jazz fits in comfortably like a glove, with fine contributions from Zenón, and Sánchez, and many others including some sweet Fender Rhodes action from Soren Moller and bold brass from trumpeter Josh Evans on "Música para un sueño." The program ends with "Solo" as Cole free forms on his kit with accompaniment by electric bassist Ricky Rodriguez. It resembles but sounds nothing like the archetypal jazz solo and is a timely finish to a brilliant release.


Track Listing: Aurea V.; Trabajala; To Believe Without Seeing; Año 2010, No Eres Tu, Soy Yo; Comienzo; Una Para Isabel; Solo Dos Veces; Uncovered Fear; Musica Para Un Sueño; Solo.

Personnel: Henry Cole: drums, keyboards (2-10); John Ellis: tenor sax ; Billy Carrion Jr.: baritone sax ; Juan Jose “Cheito” Quinones: trumpet (1-9); David “Piro Rodriguez: trumpet (3); Josh Evans: trumpet (10); Soren Moller: Fender Rhodes (1-5, 7-10); Sean Wayland: Fender Rhodes (6); Egui Santiago: keyboards (1-5, 7-10); Roy Guzman: guitar (1-5, 9); Adam Rogers: guitar (7); Ricky Rodriguez: bass (2, 3, 6-8, 10, 11); Willy Rodriguez: bass (1, 9); Pedro Perez: bass (4, 5); Alberto “Beto” Torrens: bomba barril (1-5, 7-9); Obanilu Allende: plena panderos (6), voice (6), bomba barril (10); Bryant Huffman: shekere (1-5, 7-9); Reynaldo de Jesus: shekere (10); Hermes Ayala: voice (2-4); David Sánchez: tenor sax ( 1, 3-5,) alto sax (2); Luis Rosa “El Chupa”: baritone sax (4); Jenny Scheinman: first violin (9); Megan Gould: second violin (9); Karen Waltuch: viola (9); Noah Hoffeld: cello (9); Mara Pastor: poetry reading (9); Miguel Zenón: alto saxophone (2).

Year Released: 2012 | Style: Latin/World


Related Video

Shop

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 Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Cómo Desaparecer Completamente" CD/LP/Track Review Cómo Desaparecer Completamente
by Geno Thackara
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Jungle: Live At Okuden" CD/LP/Track Review Jungle: Live At Okuden
by John Sharpe
Published: November 17, 2016
Read "Sélébéyone" CD/LP/Track Review Sélébéyone
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 7, 2016
Read "Of Earth And Sky" CD/LP/Track Review Of Earth And Sky
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: July 23, 2016
Read "Books On Tape, Vol. 2 - Standard Edition" CD/LP/Track Review Books On Tape, Vol. 2 - Standard Edition
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 17, 2016
Read "I Just Want to Get Paid!" CD/LP/Track Review I Just Want to Get Paid!
by Jack Bowers
Published: June 15, 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!