85

Sonido Isle: Vive Jazz

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
While lines are continually being drawn and redrawn to describe old and new Latin jazz styles, Sonido Isleño has created its own definition on Vive Jazz. Led by Dr. Benjamin Lapidus, who earned a doctorate in music, the band plays a mix of jazz and Spanish-Caribbean folk music which is authentic and highly accessible. Lapidus states his intent for the music is "to look for ways to put jazz into Latin music rather than making Latin music subordinate to jazz. The key musical components include spicy clave rhythms, soulful vocals, and rich string work by Lapidus, who is a tres and cuatro (Cuban and Puerto Rican guitar) master.

Vive Jazz is not just a Latin jazz derivative, but more a showcase of what this band is capable of. For starters they open with a funky little Latin boogaloo called "La Suegra spiced with tenor and guitar harmonies. This is followed by "East Of El Son, Wes Del Tres, dedicated to the roots of changüi music and the late guitar great Wes Montomery; the complexity of timbre revealed by Lapidus's instrument, combined with excellent percussion and vocals, gets into your blood. The title piece is the showcase of the band's power, covering mainstream swing and poetry, culminating in an infectious cadence with echoing lead and chorus voices.

For the most part danceable tempos are in abundance on songs like "Green Mill Mambo and "Tambora, but things do simmer down on "M&D, where Lapidus adopts a Wes Montgomery persona on electric guitar through smooth phrasing. The only odd tune, which may be intentional, is "Orntetteando," dedicated to Ornette Coleman; here the festive background is loaded with dissonant string and horn sounds. But this recording truly stands because of the compositions with traditional claves where the music pulsates with an infectious and timeless fire.


Track Listing: La Suegra; East Of El Son, Wes Del Tres; Taino; Vive Jazz; Heebaro; Tambora; Ornetteando; M&D; Green Mill Mambo; Dialectics Of A Soplapote.

Personnel: Benjamin Lapidus: guitar, tres, cuatro, marimbula, coro; Francisco Javier Cotto: bass, coro; Felix Sanabria: congas, chkere, pandereta; Hector M. Torres: timbales, guagua, giro, coro; Paul Carlon: tenor saxophone, flute; Evan Rapport: alto saxophone; Matt Ray: piano, side-splitting tumor; Harvie S.: bass (4); William Bausch: drum set (4); Greg Glassman: trumpet (4); Pedro Pablo Martinez: lead vocals, coro (4); Alberto "1st Male Bertie Joe" Levy: poem recitation (4); Jonathan Troncoso: tambora, gira (6); Juan Usera: pandereta (10); Jainardo Batista: guia, coro, maracas (2,7); Antonio DeVivo: coro, bong de monte, guayo (2).

Title: Vive Jazz | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Tresero Productions


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read No Answer CD/LP/Track Review No Answer
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Agrima CD/LP/Track Review Agrima
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Bright Yellow with Bass CD/LP/Track Review Bright Yellow with Bass
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 18, 2017
Read Kurrent CD/LP/Track Review Kurrent
by C. Andrew Hovan
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Duets CD/LP/Track Review Duets
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: October 17, 2017
Read "Live at Ronnie Scott's" CD/LP/Track Review Live at Ronnie Scott's
by Geno Thackara
Published: September 10, 2017
Read "Recent Developments" CD/LP/Track Review Recent Developments
by Karl Ackermann
Published: March 26, 2017
Read "Hauptbahnhof" CD/LP/Track Review Hauptbahnhof
by Anthony Shaw
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Glare of the Tiger" CD/LP/Track Review Glare of the Tiger
by Mark Corroto
Published: March 22, 2017
Read "Stereotomic" CD/LP/Track Review Stereotomic
by Geno Thackara
Published: April 18, 2017
Read "Mata Hati" CD/LP/Track Review Mata Hati
by Dave Wayne
Published: March 10, 2017

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.