7

The Puppeteers: The Puppeteers

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
The Puppeteers: The Puppeteers For six years, until May 2011, Puppet's Jazz in Brooklyn hosted sessions by many fine jazz musicians. Four of those musicians, including the club's co-founder, drummer Jaime Affoumado, come together on The Puppeteers, a collection of tunes inspired by hard bop, Latin, funk and many other welcome influences. The club may no longer be around, but its legacy lives on in The Puppeteers and their excellent self-titled debut album.

From the familiar opening phrase of bassist Alex Blake's "On The Spot"—familiar because it's the classic "Giant Steps" opening phrase—The Puppeteers are off and running. The band's energy is palpable, not least in Affoumado's muscular drums and Blake's explosively tough bass solo. "Jumping," another Blake number, channels the players' irrepressible energy into a gentle, mid-tempo, swing. This time the spotlight shines on Bill Ware's vibes and Arturo O'Farrill's piano.

The tunes tumble out of the speakers. Blake's lovely, waltz-time, "Peaceful Moment" provides a few minutes of calm restraint before the band cuts loose again. O'Farrill's "In Whom" is underpinned by Blake's pumping bass guitar. Ware's "Bio Diesel" centers on his own melodic vibes while Papo Vasquez' "Not Now Right Now" is enlivened by fine ensemble playing as well as solos from all four musicians. Affoumado's "Dreams Of Dad" starts off as if it's about to become a full-on funk workout then settles into a gently swinging groove. The fast-paced "Lonely Days Are Gone" and "The Right Time," both Ware compositions, complete the album with a flourish.

Across the nine tunes The Puppeteers demonstrate pretty much every positive attribute of the performing musician—emotional engagement, power, control, swing, technical skill, are there in abundance. Above all, the musicians have fun and sound like they're having fun. The Puppeteers sounds like the recording sessions were a blast from start to finish. Listening is just as big a blast.


Track Listing: On The Spot; Jumping; In Whom; Peaceful Moment; Bio Diesel; Dreams Of Dad; Not Now Right Now; Lonely Days Are Gone; The Right Time.

Personnel: Arturo O'Farrill: piano; Bill Ware: vibraphone; Alex Blake: double bass, bass guitar; Jaime Affoumado: drums.

Year Released: 2014 | Record Label: Puppet's Records


Shop

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Our Second Set" CD/LP/Track Review Our Second Set
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 23, 2016
Read "Black Shuck" CD/LP/Track Review Black Shuck
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: December 17, 2016
Read "It's The Peace That Deafens" CD/LP/Track Review It's The Peace That Deafens
by James Nadal
Published: March 17, 2016
Read "It's A Man's World" CD/LP/Track Review It's A Man's World
by Geannine Reid
Published: May 12, 2016
Read "Oddara" CD/LP/Track Review Oddara
by James Nadal
Published: October 15, 2016
Read "Leaving Everything Behind" CD/LP/Track Review Leaving Everything Behind
by Dave Wayne
Published: July 4, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!