As one would anticipate from the group's nameand the album's song selectionthe seven-member Carrera Quinta (pared down from big-band size) plays music from South America, more specifically the Andes region of Colombia, interlaced with mainstream American jazz. The Latin Grammy-nominated ensemble's third album, Traslaciones, comprises seven songs showcasing traditional Colombian styles such as pasillo, bambuco and guabina as part of a research project developed at Universidad El Bosque School of Music in Bogota where all the members of the septet serve as instructors.
The blend of time-tested Colombian melodies and rhythms with established North American jazz actually works quite well, thanks largely to splendid themes and charts by five composers and the adeptness of Carrera Quinta's hard-working team, co-led by pianist Francy Montalvo and guitarist Javier Perez Sandoval. The concise yet efficient solos, most by front-liners Pavel Zuzaeta (trumpet), César Medina (alto / soprano sax) and Dario Montoya (flute), flow naturally from the group dynamic, while Montalvo, Sandoval, bassist Daniel Montoya and drummer Pedro Acosta keep the rhythm sure and steady.
Jose Morales wrote the robust opener, "El Corazon de la Cana," Luis Aragon the rhythmic finale, "El Beso que le Robe a la Luna." Sandwiched between are lustrous and engaging songs by Hector Ochoa ("Despues que me Olvide de Ti," the item nearest on the menu to a ballad), Jose Barros (the samba-like "Pesares") and Luz Marina Posada ("El Vuelo," "A Bordo de Tu Vez," "A Pesar de Tanto Gris"). Even though the music has its roots in the folklore of Colombia, it transcends any such assumed boundary to encompass a far wider audience. Grammy voters should take note that Carrera Quinta is back with an astute and charming package that should please lovers of Latin music and contemporary jazz as well.
Track Listing: El Corazon de la Cana; El Vuelo; A Bordo de Tu Voz; Despues que me Olvide de Ti; A Pesar de Tanto Gris; Pesares; El Beso que le Robe a la Luna.
Personnel: Pavel Zuzaeta: trumpet; Cesar Medina: alto, soprano saxophone; Dario Montoya: flute; Francy Montalvo: piano; Javier Perez Sandoval: electric guitar; Daniel Montoya: electric bass; Pedro Acosta: drums.
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