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CD REVIEWS

Chembo Corniel
Portrait In Rhythm
(Chemboro Records)

When it comes to the new contemporary Latin Jazz sound, there's no doubt that "Chembo" Corniel ranks as one of the premier percussionists in New York City. True to this testament is his latest recording titled "Chembo: Portrait In Rhythms." Featured players include trumpeter Ray Vega, saxophonist Mario Rivera and a crew of excellent young musicians that make up his quintet "Grupo Chaworo." From contemporary straight-ahead Latin Jazz to Afro-Cuban batà inspired music, Chembo's musical presence is felt from every corner of this recording demonstrating outstanding precision, grace and power on congas and various percussion instruments. This CD is a true Latin Jazz gem.

Johannes Linstead
Mediterranea
(Earthscape Music)

Stretching the traditional musical context of Latin Jazz, guitarist Johannes Linstead presents his new CD titled "Mediterranea." this recording has a very relaxing aura delivered though exquisite arrangements. From gentle to rapid acoustic guitar lines, combined with different Latin rhythms from the Caribbean, South America and Spain, Linstead demonstrates ample technique and passion on the guitar, including some balanced improvisation and violin throughout.

Oskar Cartaya
My Music, My Friends, My Time
(Oye! Records)

From the opening track, "el yunque", it is apparent that bassist Oskar Cartaya has an affinity toward the funky side of Latin Jazz. On his CD titled "my music, my friends, my time", Cartaya takes Latin Jazz to the outer limit. It is obvious that this young musician has acquired many musical influences, including rhythms from his native Puerto Rican roots, Afro-Cuban, Nuyorican sound and West coast funk. A very entertaining Latin Jazz program throughout, it also contains excellent saxophone and flute work by the powerhouse musician Justo Almario.

Trio Mundo
Rides Again
(Zoho Records)

The Trio Mundo that include drummer Manolo Badrena, guitarist Dave Stryker, bassist Andy McKee, with Steve Slagle of saxophones and flute present an excellent compilation of original Latin Jazz music tilted " Trio Mundo Rides Again." As with their first CD "Carnaval", Trio Mundo continues to build on their unique combination of contemporary semi-acoustic sound with Brazil, the Caribbean to North American Jazz influence.

Rick Trolsen
Gringo Do Choro
(Lost Records)

It may be safe to say that trombonist Rick Trolsen is a stranger to Latin Jazz. Regardless, by mention in his liner notes, it appears that Mr. Trolsen took a leap of faith in venturing toward Latin Jazz in Brazil. Thus, the proof is in the putting: his CD titled "Gringo Do Choro" shows that he is an extremely intuitive musician. His agile Jazz shops on the trombone prove to be a natural fit. His deep and melodious tone adds a common vitality to the Brazilian sound accentuated by rhythms such as Choro, Bossa Nova and Samba. He is complimented by an excellent cast of Brazilian musicians making this recording a truely authentic Brazilian Jazz experience. A highly recommended CD. Very nice work!

All reviews written by
John Davis

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