Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

39

Cafêzz: Sol Boricua

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Coffee was introduced by the Spanish to the island of Puerto Rico in the mid 1700's, it's history coinciding with the hybridized Spanish/African musical entity which has come to define the island. The local jazz ensemble Cafêzz based their name and repertoire around coffee inspired themes—releasing "Music & Friends," in 2014— and on Sol Boricua they delve further into the islands multi-faceted musical heritage with diverse latte and espresso selections.

Carmen Noemí, the band's leader, pianist and composer, along with bassist and producer Edgardo Sierra, present an engaging sojourn into the Puerto Rican musical landscape, with a modern point of view. "Sol Boricua," is a salutation to the tropical sun, as the dualistic nature of bomba drumming intertwined with jibaro (mountain music) phrasing on the flute and cuatro, covers the entire tempo of their homeland.

Sierra pulls off a production coup on "Te Invito un Café," dubbing three bass parts, most dominant the piccolo bass, that has a guitar like clarity and brightness to properly portray this gentle samba. The sound of an espresso machine opens "Barista's Swing," a straight ahead number where Noemí takes the electric piano to meet Norberto Ortiz on tenor sax. She switches to accordion on "El Cafetal," though basically centered on the aguinaldo—Latin American Christmas music—it is transformed with a homegrown cadence and nuance. The classical inclinations and background of the musicians are brought to light on "Antes Que Salga La Luna," and "Desde Mi Balcón," the latter having a strong Peruvian waltz bearing. The Cuban guajira dominates "Cortadito," where Jose Jimenez takes over the sax duties, adding an excellent complement to the montuno piano arrangement. Continuing with international influences, "Mayi," is an oriental-fusion foray featuring guitarist Jorge Laboy, and spaced-out organ. They keep the groove going on "Just 4 Funk," where no further explanation is needed.

New age intonations serve as a backdrop for "Coffee Lovers," a sensual novella where the piano plays the dramatic female, the bass the confused male, seeking resolution to the eternal romantic dilemma. A requiem for a departed friend is offered on "Café no Céu," a coffee in heaven. Composed as a celebration of life, it is a full throttle Brazilian carnival parade. The danza originates from classical European ballroom dances and has strains of Cuban habaneras in its structure. Noemí is one of the islands premier danza piano interpreters, and ends the production with "Mujer de la Alborada," an homage to strong and influential women, wherever they are.

Cafêzz, being a talented and well-produced band, has cleverly created a unique concept swirling around coffee. They pride themselves on being Puerto Rican, and are recognized locally for their cultural contribution. They are an active ensemble performing at San Juan venues, and thus were able to continue the adventure started on the first record, this one sounding more mature and versatile. Goes to show, coffee and jazz do make an excellent combination.

Track Listing: Sol Boricua; Te Invito un Café; Barista’s Swing; El Cafetal; Antes Que Salga La Luna; Cortadito; Mayi; Desde Mi Balcón; Just 4 Funk; Coffee Lovers; Café no Céu; Mujer De La Alborada.

Personnel: Carmen Noemí: acoustic and electric piano, synthesizer, accordion, organ. Edgardo “Egui” Sierra: fretted and fretless electric bass, piccolo bass; Héctor Matos: drums; Pedro Guzman: Puerto Rican cuatro (1); Jose Robert Jimenez: flute (2, 4, 8) tenor sax (6); Christian Galindez: percussion (1, 4, 6); Waldemar reyes: percussion: 2, 5, 8, 10, 11); Norberto “Tiko” Ortiz: tenor sax ( 3, 9); Luis Amed Irizarry: oboe (5); Jorge Laboy: electric guitar (7); Joel torres: electric guitar (9); Bryan Muñoz: acoustic guitar (11); Edgardo Sierra Jr.: alto sax (11).

Title: Sol Boricua | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: Talismusic Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Album Reviews
Read more articles
Sol Boricua

Sol Boricua

Talismusic Records
2016

buy
Music & Friends

Music & Friends

Talismusic Records
2015

buy

Shop

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

Related Articles

Read Bulería Brooklyniana Album Reviews
Bulería Brooklyniana
By Dan Bilawsky
January 23, 2019
Read At The Hill Of James Magee Album Reviews
At The Hill Of James Magee
By Mark Corroto
January 23, 2019
Read Stomping Off From Greenwood Album Reviews
Stomping Off From Greenwood
By Mike Jurkovic
January 23, 2019
Read Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018 Album Reviews
Live: The Rites of Spring Festival 2018
By Roger Weisman
January 23, 2019
Read Runner in the Rain Album Reviews
Runner in the Rain
By Jack Bowers
January 22, 2019
Read Driftglass Album Reviews
Driftglass
By Chris May
January 22, 2019
Read Pure Magic Album Reviews
Pure Magic
By Mark Sullivan
January 22, 2019