The personal attractions which originate with music can have life altering consequences, leading to total immersion in another culture and the discovery of oneself in the process. Trombonist May Peters is a perfect case in point. Born and raised in Holland, with extensive musical training, she has had a lifelong fixation with salsa music, which led her to relocate to Puerto Rico, culminating in her production of Tributo de Tambor y Trombon en Clave de Mujer Boricua.
This is an instrumental compilation of songs composed and performed by female Puerto Rican cabaret singers during the golden days of radio on the island, which was saturated with boleros, danzas, and mambos. Dramatic liberties were taken with the arrangements by pianist/producer Eric Figueroa, who set up all the songs with a dominant percussion factor and has Peters leading the charge with a ferocious combination of energy and finesse. Having paid her dues with numerous salsa, bomba, and plena bands, she obviously thrives in this environment and the results are impressive.
The musicians on this record are some of the best in Puerto Rico. Anchored by veteran bassist Ramon Vazquez and conga master Paoli Mejias, they are all experts in the Afro-Caribbean tradition and know precisely how each complex rhythmic variation should be executed. Peters melodically improvises through the songs as if surfing on a pulsing wave.
Starting off with "Dí Corazon," by the revered Sylvia Rexach, and going right into "Caramelo y Chocolate," by the risqué vedette Iris Chacon, Peters and company firmly lay down the familiar lyric lines, then the heat is turned up. The standout number is Lucy Fabery's "La Oportunidad"; clocking in at over eight minutes, it has plenty of room for stretching out and developing a solid groove. The pace is slowed down for "Medly Myrta Silva," a steamy bolero dedicated to the legendary Myrta Silva, who was known for her showmanship and flamboyant personality.
Though perhaps not familiar outside of Latin music aficionados, these women were influential artists and composers, and admired by generations. This tribute by Peters is exceptional and indicates her profound knowledge---both of the music and where it can be creatively transported.
Track Listing: Di Corazón; Caramelo y Chocolate; Estoy Enamorado; La Oportunidad; Si Tu No
Hubieras Ido; Medley Myrta Silva; Nací & Así Hoy; Tu Equivocación; Medley Myrta Silva
Radio Version; Nací & Así Hoy Extended.
Personnel: May Peters: trombone, producer; Eric Figueroa: piano, arranger, producer; Ramón
Vázquez: bass; Paoli Mejías: tumbadoras, congas, buleador, panderos; Tony Escapa:
drums; Manolito Rodríguez: timbales; Daniel Díaz: bongos, buleador, panderos, quinto,
seguidor, tumbador; Pablo "El Indio" Rosario: maracas, guïro, clave; Greg Schmitt:
electric guitar; Pedro Guzmán: Puerto Rican cuatro; Mickey Alvarado: surdo, tamborine,
shekere, caxixi, cuica, whistles, percussion effects; Raul Berrios: cuica, shekere;
Cándido Reyes: guicharo.
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz
I was first exposed to Jazz when a couple of dear friends of mine turned me onto it around 1971. I was already into Progressive music, R n' B, Soul, Motown, Latin Rock and other styles that were a great ladder to Jazz.
Being a Musician myself, (Lead Guitar/Bass Guitar), I studied at the Dick Grove School of Music with Dick Grove, Jeff Richman and Lee Ritenour. This was around '84-'85. I started playing the Guitar in November 1967. Playing Guitar came quite naturally to me thank goodness. Though I spent hours upon hours practicing while my school buddies were doing Sports.
It was in the early '70s that I really got into Jazz, Jazz Rock, Jazz Fusion and World Music. Seeing Weather Report, Miles Davis, Wayne Shorter, Larry Carlton, Steely Dan, John McLaughlin and the Mahavishnu Orchestra, RTF, Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters, VSOP, Freddie Hubbard and so many, many more amazing artists opened my eyes to the beauty and eloquent nature of Jazz. I really love the brilliant ensemble playing that is in Jazz!!
When I play and write music, it blends so many style together. Many fans ask me why my playing sounds so jazzy. It's because I understand Blue Notes, the phrasing, the tonality, time signatures and more. I can also play Rock, Folk, Soul, R n' B and other styles too. I seem to gravitate more and more as I get older to a jazzier style. Currently I'm 62 years old. I have released 2 CDs world-wide. Working on my 3rd.
I also teach Guitar/Bass/Music Theory to my students. They range from 6 years old to much, much older. (I was hired by the City of Aurora, CO to teach ages 6-13 specifically). Currently I teach 41 children in 5 classes. Additionally another 7 private students.
My wife, Meesh, and I love Jazz dearly. It was one of the things that we share together!
Most of the people that I know today do not get jazz. I try to explain what to listen for, but many times the music of Jazz is a bit much for them. So be it.
In a nutshell, I live, breath and listen to Music 24/7. No TV except the Food Channel and Weather.
I love John Kelman's articles. They are so insightful and well-constructed!
Thank you all for doing what you do.