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Cuban pianist Elio Villafranca has found the way to celebrate both his Latin jazz roots and straight-ahead jazz influences on The Source In Between. Along with tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, drummer Dafnis Prieto, bassist Jeff Carney and also featuring saxophonist Yosvany Terry, hand percussionist Arturo Stable and drummer Ferenc Nemeth on selected tracks, Villafranca wends his way through a selection of original compositions that bespeak of both the Latin and jazz genres.
Ordinarily a CD with only original compositions can be problematic because there is no base from which to interpret, but Villafranca is an accomplished pianist who displays an ability to combine the emotional values of conventional Latin pianism with some of the cerebral ones of bop, post-bop and free jazz, finding a new territory in which to inhabit. The album's title is his name for locale and the title track is a straight-ahead bebop melody with a Latin percussive figure excitingly defined by Prieto; the tune also appears as the last track in a "Latin re-mix" featuring fine work by Stable on tumbadores. Alexander hands in memorable moments with a blistering solo as well as on the haunting ballad "The Lonely One." But it is the ways he and Villafranca develop ideas in interplay as well as separately that make this CD stand out. Prieto and Carney provide support all the way through and exhibit solid performances, especially on "Oddua Suite," a theme that sounds as if it was drawn from Cuban folk music.
It is evident from this most enjoyable album that Villafranca will have much more to say musically in the future as he continues to explore The Source In Between.
Track Listing: The Source In Between; The Lonely One; Oddua Suite; Three Plus One; In The Dark; Faces, Not Evil; Resurrection Of The Incapacitated; Don't Ever Say Never; Luna; The Source In Between (Latin Re-Mix).
Personnel: Elio Villafranca: piano; Eric Alexander: tenor saxophone; Dafnis Prieto: drums; Jeff Carney: acoustc bass; Yosvanny Terry: alto and soprano saxophone (8, 9); Arturo Stable: hand percussion and tumbadores (9, 10); Ferenc Nemeth: drums (5).
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop
I love jazz because with it I found my true voice. I have always sung since I was a very small child in school and church. And there have been many genre that I have enjoyed including spiritual, folk, country, latin, soca and pop. But nothing has touched my artistic sensiblities like JAZZ! Two years ago I moved to Sarasota, FL where I renewed my focus on my singing career and I was so impressed with the quality, quantity and generousity of talented jazz musicains in the Suncoast area. I soon partnered with piano legend Billy Marcus and his trio with Don Mopsick and Stephen Bucholtz. What a blast working with these guys and having them back me up on my first jaz album, Here's To You... which was just released on October 1st. I can't wait to see where the coming year brings me! Check out syniacarrolljazz.com