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Album Review

Juan Carlos Quintero: Table for Five!

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Juan Carlos Quintero: Table for Five!
Fans of captivating Latin rhythms in the service of contemporary jazz should be enchanted by Table for Five! on which maestro Juan Carlos Quintero swaps his customary nylon strings for an electric guitar and his focus from smooth jazz and world music to the standard repertoire, American and Latin, and a pair of his own jazz-centered compositions. It's a milieu in which Quintero shines, as do his long-time friends and colleagues—pianist Joe Rotondi, bassist Eddie Resto, drummer Aaron Serfaty and percussionist Joey DeLeon.

Quintero's "Table for Five...At the Cumbia Inn" is based on the traditional cumbia folk rhythms of Colombia, while "Porque Si Quieres" (If You Want) is a fresh version of a tune that appeared on a Quintero album in the late '90s. Luiz Bonfa, another legendary Latin composer, is well represented with "The Gentle Rain" and "Manha de Carnaval," Cuban percussionist Armando Peraza with the irrepressible "Mambo Balahu." Quintero gives Henry Mancini's "Days of Wine and Roses" a bright Latin makeover, as he does the standards "Alone Together" and "Beautiful Love," Horace Silver's "Song for My Father" and John Coltrane's "Giant Steps," which is especially charming when heard in a disparate context. Victor Young's "Beautiful Love," which closes the session, is taken at a far more leisurely tempo than is usually the case, but it works.

Quintero solos nimbly on "Giant Steps," as he does elsewhere, while Rotondi adds another astute voice to the mix. As for Resto, Serfaty and DeLeon, they unravel Latin jazz as to the manor born. Needless to say, DeLeon's percussion lies at the heart of every number; it is hard to envision an album of Latin music without that unflagging and essential undercurrent. He and Serfaty comprise an admirable team, as do Quintero and Rotondi. While Table for Five! is for the most part high-quality mainstream jazz, it now and then crosses the border into smooth jazz, which should please enthusiasts of both genres while ensuring more plentiful airplay and streaming.

Track Listing

Alone Together; Mambo Balahu; The Gentle Rain; Manha de Carnaval; Table for Five…At the Cumbia Inn; Song for My Father; Porque Si Quieres; Days of Wine and Roses; Giant Steps; Beautiful Love.

Personnel

Juan Carlos Quintero: guitar; Joe Rotondi: piano; Eddie Resto: bass; Aaron Serfaty: percussion; Joey DeLeon: percussion.

Album information

Title: Table for Five! | Year Released: 2022 | Record Label: Moondo Music

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