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Luis Disla: The Prophecy

James Nadal By

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One quick way to verify a musician's credentials is to check out who plays on his debut record. Respected reed man Luis Disla obviously called in a few markers for The Prophecy , assembling an all-star lineup and achieving a glossy production in the process.

No stranger to the studio with numerous sessions accounted for, Disla is prodigious on alto, tenor, soprano and baritone saxophones and relies on his expertise on all of them. He chooses the perfect musicians for this contemporary Latin jazz project in bassist Abraham Laboriel, drummer Steve Gadd and premier percussionist Alex Acuña 99. Though a polished studio recording, the record opens and ends with a novel approach, simulating what Disla's band might be like in a club setting—complete with background noise, bar banter, and musician introductions at the end of the "set."

There is a well thought-out sense of original compositions offering a wide range of directions and tempos, from smooth jazz and grinding salsa to funk and ballads, with two interesting cover choices: Earth, Wind & Fire's "Reason," and Disla's personal tribute to Ray Charles, "You Don't Know Me," the surprise number in the package that really works and is given the star treatment it deserves.

Nestor Torres's charanga flute is featured on "Naima's Way," a sizzling mambo number with pianist Jorge Luis Sosa depicting a genuine montuno. Sosa also demonstrates his versatility by switching to a Hammond organ sound on the bluesy "Stick to It."

Disla displays not only great musicianship and tone, but also a spatial approach in his soloing which blends well with the other players. In picking top accompanists, he wisely lets them stretch out and offer their individual talents to the mix. The Prophecy is a record that was a long time coming and Disla has been meticulous in his production, proving it was well worth the wait.

Track Listing: Intro; Down for the Count; Angelina; Naima’s Way; Reasons; Nucleus; Brigette; JeDu; Stick To It; You Don’t Know Me; The Prophecy; Coda.

Personnel: Luis Disla: alto, tenor, soprano, baritone saxophones; Jorge Luis Sosa: keyboards; Leo Quintero : guitar; Abraham Laboriel: bass; Alex Acuña: percussion; Steve Gadd: drums; Julio Diaz: trumpet; Jorge Dobal: trombone; Richard Bravo: additional percussion; Paul Hoyle: vocal (5); Nestor Torres: flute (4); Tito Puente Jr.: timbales (2).

Title: The Prophecy | Year Released: 2012 | Record Label: Self Produced

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