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The music of Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers serves as a suitable theme for this album by Jerry Gonzalez and his Latin jazz band, since they exhibit the same kind of percussive drive with integrated melody that the hard bop drummer and his quintets shared with us for decades.
It's been almost two decades already for Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, which continues to excite with its fiery blend of Latin flavors and improvised adventure. The trumpeter pushes hard and teams well with saxophonist Joe Ford to communicate fluently. Gonzalez, Ford, Larry Willis, Steve Berrios, and Andy Gonzalez have been doing this together long enough that they've become quite cohesive.
The band's title composition, "Rumba Buhaina, puts them all together in a mesmerizing up-tempo affair. Here, Gonzalez uses the conga drums to relate to the Afro-Caribbean tradition, while Ford stretches out with an exotic tale on soprano. Willis' new ballad "The Day You Said Goodbye moves slowly with heartfelt concern as soprano, piano, and drums pare it down for a lovely spell. "Ask Me Now is performed alone by trumpet, bass, and piano in Miles-like soliloquy.
The remainder of the program marries the tradition of Latin jazz with the music that Art Blakey brought us. Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band have honored the spirit while interpreting these songs in their own way.
Track Listing: Along Came Betty; Crisis; This is for Albert; Up Jumped Spring; Madi's Smile; Wildflower; United; The Day You Said Goodbye; One by One; Rumba Buhaina; Ask Me Now.
Personnel: Jerry Gonzalez: trumpet, flugelhorn, congas, percussion; Joe Ford: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Larry Willis: piano; Andy Gonzalez: bass; Steve Berrios: drums, percussion.
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me
I grew up listening to mainstream '70s rock then ended up on the staff at the college paper at San Diego State, and volunteered to review heavy metal LPs. My second semester, the music editor dropped a Fenton Robinson LP on my desk, Night Flight. You like metal; they play guitar--he plays guitar, the editor told me. If we don't run a review, Alligator Records is going to stop servicing us.
Night Flight opened up a whole new world for me--the blues led me, inevitably, to Basie, who led to Duke, who led to Mingus, who led to Miles, who led to ...