Ruben Caban: Shafted

Edward Blanco BY

Sign in to view read count
Ruben Caban: Shafted
Puerto Rican trombonist Ruben Caban makes a splash with the Latin jazz shaded Shafted, his first own-name album. The disc is full of grit and swagger and offers a host of original compositions sure to shake them bones. A professor of jazz trombone at Florida International University as well as Miami-Dade and Broward colleges, Caban is a seasoned professional sharing the stage with some of the best musicians in the world.

The album has already received acclaim and won the Bronze Medal at the 2018 Global Music Awards—it was the only Latin jazz album selected for the finals. Caban's music is performed in varying formats from a quartet to a larger ensemble. Each lineup packs a punch and delivers engaging sounds.

While the music showcases six of Caban's compositions, the repertoire is bookended by two cover tunes, beginning with a lively and percussive version of the Bronislau Kaper standard "Invitation," highlighting Rodolfo Zuniga on drums, Diego Camacho on timbales and Erick Enrique on congas, with the leader and pianist Antulio Mora providing solo moments of note.

The music continues in perky fashion on the leader's original, "Shafts of Sarcasm," with Francisco Dimas providing a burst on the trumpet and Ismael Vergara playing a supportive baritone before the octet rallies towards a finish. The trombonist shows a lighter side on the lovely ballad of "Vozaconfusion," and does much the same on "What About You and Me," another mellow tune.

The remaining charts are all shoulder-moving numbers with the originals "That One Tune" and "Struttin' to a Groove" featuring exquisite solos from Caban. The set closes on a less percussive note with a rendition of Tom Harrell's "Hope Street." As debut albums go, this is one excellent recording with plenty of special moments—and no one getting the titular shaft.

Track Listing

Invitation; Shafts of Sarcasm; E.T. ; Vozaconfusion; What About You and Me; That One Tune; Struttin' To A Groove; Hope Street.


Ruben Caban: trombones; Antulio Mora: piano (1); Peter Wallace: piani (3-5); Cristian Cuevas:piano (2, 6-8); Agustin Cponti: bass; Rodolfo Zuniga: drums (1-3, 6-8); Carlomagano Araya: drums (4); Mike Piolet: drums (5); Diego Camacho: timbales (1), guiro (2); Erick Enrique Castanera: congas (1, 2, 6, 7); Francisco Dimas: trumpet (2, 7, 8); Ismael Vergara: baritone saxophone (2); Jesse McGinty: tenor saxophone (3, 6-8).

Album information

Title: Shafted | Year Released: 2018 | Record Label: Ruben Caban Music

Post a comment about this album



Shop Amazon


Susan Krebs
The Long Table
Jon Raskin
Tues Days
Jane Ira Bloom / Allison Miller
Alexis Parsons
Future Memories
Mareike Wiening
What to Wear in the Dark
Kate McGarry + Keith Ganz Ensemble
Open World
Chad Lefkowitz-Brown and the Global Big Band


Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.