All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...


Victor Rendón & Bronx Conexión Latin-Jazz Big Band: True Flight

James Nadal By

Sign in to view read count
Latin music has been popular in New York City since the beginning of the twentieth century. The post-war migration of Hispanics into Spanish Harlem and the Bronx brought about a major cultural shift in the area, music being an essential element, and with that came a plethora of clubs and dance venues. The orchestras of Machito, Mario Bauza and Tito Puente, synonymous with the era, set the standard for the Latin music that endures today. Victor Rendón & Bronx Conexión Latin-Jazz Big Band expand on this tradition with True Flight, adding the jazz elements of harmony and improvisation to a stimulating set of complex arrangements.

Rendón is the director, as well as the timbalero. He formed the ensemble in 2012 initially as a rehearsal band at Lehman College, where he is a percussion educator, and it has grown into a full blown twenty- piece orchestra capable of raising the roof. This music was primarily intended for dancing, and the title track gets things moving with a mambo concoction spiced up with tinges of Cuban timba. The band further adheres to the mambo format on "Generoso," composed by trombonist Rick Faulkner, who allows himself room for stretching out before the dazzling piano of Joe Mannozzi brings the band back around. "Café Sin Leche," is a Rendón original featuring trumpeter Claudio Roditi, Karl Watson on the baritone sax, and a sizzling timbale flourish by Rendón. The swinging continues on "Oriente," where flutist Jessica Valiente invokes an authentic charanga flavor. Percussive virtuosity dominates "Lagos," performed in a Cuban bembé pattern, represented with batá drums in the guiro style, paying homage to its African origin.

Tenor man Joe Stelluti takes over the solo spot on the Santana masterpiece "Europa (Earth's Cry Heaven's Smile), delivered in a steamy bolero mode, to calm things down. "Buena Gente," is a fast paced jazz excursion where veteran sax man Lew Tabackin adds his finesse amidst a rhythmic whirlwind. Percussionist Cascadú is the vocalist on the samba cadenced "Island Woman," and returns on Bob Marley's "No Woman No Cry," adapted into an Afro-Peruvian landó incantation, with Yasuyo Kimura on cajon.

The Bronx Conexión is a throwback to the big dance bands of yesteryear. They have a regular running gig at the famed Nuyorican Poets Café since September 2014, playing every 2nd Tuesday of the month. This is a tough audience weaned on salsa, that assures them of keeping their repertoire tight and ready. It's not easy to maintain such a big outfit working, but Rendón manages, and True Flight is evidence that they are a viable orchestra representing their community at a high level.

Track Listing: True Flight; Generoso; Café Sin Leche; Europa (Earth’s Cry Heaven’s Smile); Buena Gente; Island Woman; Oriente; Lagos; No Woman No Cry.

Personnel: Victor Rendón: timbales, batá (Iyá), shekere, quijada (jawbone of donkey) frog rasp, rainstick; Wilson “Chembo” Corniel: congas, batá (Itótele), campana, woodblocks, ocean drum; Cascadú: shekere, cajon base, batá (Okónkolo) pandeiro, cuica, triangle, cricket, tan-tan shakers, frog rasp, woodblocks, windchimes, pods, rainstick, vocal (6, 9); Yasuyo Kimura: bongos, cencerro, shekere, guataca, shaker, cajon repicador, frog rasp, agogo; Ron Smith: drums; Jessica Valiente: flute; Al Acosta: alto sax; Debra Kreisberg: alto sax, clarinet; Joe Stelluti: tenor sax, flute; Chris Stelluti: tenor sax, clarinet; Karl Watson: baritone sax, clarinet; Aniba Martinez: trumpet, flugelhorn; Guido Gonzalez: trumpet, flugelhorn; John Replogle: trumpet, flugelhorn; Kathleen Doran: trumpet, flugelhorn; Rick Faulkner: trombone; Joe Mannozzi: piano; ray Martinez: bass; Claudio Roditi: trumpet (3, 8); Jennifer Freedman: vocal (9); Johnny Rodriguez: bongo (2, 4, 7); Jorge Maldonado: maracas, guiro (2, 4, 7); Lou Tabackin: tenor sax (5); Lou Marini, Jr.: tenor sax (6).

Title: True Flight | Year Released: 2016 | Record Label: American Showplace Music


comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
True Flight

True Flight

American Showplace Music


Related Articles

Read This City CD/LP/Track Review
This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read More Songs About Error And Shame CD/LP/Track Review
More Songs About Error And Shame
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: March 24, 2018
Read West Coast Trio CD/LP/Track Review
West Coast Trio
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Sun Embassy CD/LP/Track Review
Sun Embassy
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 24, 2018
Read The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel – Beethoven Revisited Symphonies 1-9 CD/LP/Track Review
The Pocket Philharmonic Orchestra, Peter Stangel –...
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: March 24, 2018
Read Lala Belu CD/LP/Track Review
Lala Belu
by Chris May
Published: March 23, 2018
Read "Passin' Thru" CD/LP/Track Review Passin' Thru
by Mark Sullivan
Published: July 29, 2017
Read "Open Borders" CD/LP/Track Review Open Borders
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 14, 2018
Read "Tangents" CD/LP/Track Review Tangents
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "After The Fall" CD/LP/Track Review After The Fall
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 13, 2018
Read "What Time Is It?" CD/LP/Track Review What Time Is It?
by Nicholas F. Mondello
Published: June 10, 2017
Read "Pigs & Fairies" CD/LP/Track Review Pigs & Fairies
by Jack Bowers
Published: May 16, 2017