Ruben Caban: Shafted

Edward Blanco By

Sign in to view read count
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.

Personnel: 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).

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



comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles


Ruben Caban Music


Related Articles

Read Shafted Album Reviews
By Edward Blanco
July 17, 2019
Read Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club Album Reviews
Live at the Bird’s Eye Jazz Club
By Don Phipps
July 17, 2019
Read New Year Album Reviews
New Year
By Dan Bilawsky
July 17, 2019
Read Confluence Album Reviews
By Karl Ackermann
July 17, 2019
Read Confluence Album Reviews
By Dan McClenaghan
July 16, 2019
Read Movimenti Album Reviews
By Geno Thackara
July 16, 2019
Read A New Home Album Reviews
A New Home
By Mark Corroto
July 16, 2019