As the news gets worse, why do some kinds of music simply sound better and better? Juan Carlos Quintero
's Table for Five
is, by content at least, "Latin Jazz." Yet there is something for everyone, including "Alone Together," "Giant Steps" and a slightly different version (as a cha-cha-cha) of Horace Silver's
Cape Verdean- inflected "Song for My Father." Aaron Serfaty
on drums and Joe Rotondi
on piano are more than capable soloists on "Song." They bring a fresh sound to a tune whose keyboard riff was introduced to an entirely different audience by Steely Dan
in "Rikki Don't Lose That Number" on Pretzel Logic
(ABC Records, 1974). So if you feel you know the tune, you most likely do, even if you never heard of Horace Silver.
There is nothing raucous in this recording. No blaring horns or thudding percussion. "Mambo Belahu," "Porque si Quieres" and a bright "Table for Five..." are not lite anything, but they go down easily. Above all, this is a melodic album, and most musical, even managing to get Henry Mancini
into the mix in "Days of Wine and Roses." The mark of accomplished musicians is that they can take very different melodies and genres, and somehow make them their own; that is what Quintero and his band do here. For what it is worth, even grim news does not completely crush the spirit when something this enjoyable is on your playlist.
Be warned. This music is addictive. You may well have it on repeat for quite some time.
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.