The Caribbean Jazz Project
is one of the most prolific groups in today’s jazz; their passion
for creativity, spontaneity, and improvisation further develops their
adventurous and faultless attributes for creating their unique sound.
For those of you who haven’t explored their previous recordings then
they’re latest project “Here and Now / Live in Concert”
lead by mallet master Dave Samuels would be the perfect
starting point in discovering their distinctive voice. With this
project CJP is offering their fans a chance too experience
they’re music in a live context with “Here and Now”, that
might not otherwise have the opportunity. Well you this not exactly
the case, nevertheless this recording benefits everyone that lends
their ears too this fiery collection of Latin Jazz that’s
superbly played and orchestrated by Caribbean Jazz Project.
Diego Urcola ~ trumpet & flugelhorn, Dario Eskenazi ~ piano,
Oscar Stagnaro ~ bass, Mark Walker ~ drums, Roberto Quintero ~ congas
& percussion and Dave Samuels ~ vibes and marimba, also produced
by Dave Samuels on Concord Records 2005
Caribbean Jazz Projects enthralling
new14-track two-disc music extravaganza recorded live at the Manchester
Craftman’s Guild opens with the enthusiastic”
Rendezvous” (The Gathering, 2002). It appears to me that
Samuels and company are essentially
about the business of cultivating a mixture of passionate, memorable,
and exuberant music to savor for years to come.
Artistically CJP embraces
the validity of the jazz classic “Stolen Moments” (The
Gathering. 2002) by revamping the canvas by painting detailed
strokes with effervescent colors and shapes that are itched into the
fabric of this timeless jazz standard that they’re now claiming
ownership of by providing their own signature voicing. The music of CJP
swells with energy and excitement giving each artist ample opportunity
to glow by showcasing their improvisational skills as in this case on
“Turnabout” (Birds of a Feather, 2003).
is classic Latin music, as I know it (New Horizon, 2000). The
samba grasps the flavor of the cha, cha with flawless execution by
trumpeter/flugelhornist Diego Urcola assuredly
demonstrates with authority that he very much in zone. The guys in the
band interweaves collectively into the core if this festive
composition is a testament to the dynamics of their supreme
musicianship. “The Gathering” comes in at the 5th
spot (The Gathering 2002) as percussionist Roberto
Quintero serves up his twist of tantalizing percussive wizardry
followed by the brilliance of pianist Dario Eskenazi.
The first few selections on
“Now and Then” are very much in the up-tempo mode, Samuels’s
and the gang changes the mood with “Picture Frame”
(Birds of a Feather, 2003). This song is ideal for a musician
to illustrate his/her competence as a soloist and Samuels does
exceptionally well. Diego Urcola breathes
aura of newness into his muted trumpet, a sound that radiant and
soulful pulling you into the warmth of his solo.
“Bemsha Swing” opens
with an extended improvised solo by Samuels. What
mesmerizes me more often then not about Latin music is the percussive
rhythmic foundation that employs vibrant colors, shades and textures
that’s layered with symmetry that envelops all the other instruments
along the path without missing a beat. Samuels delivers once
more with the compelling “One Step Ahead” from (Paraiso,
2001). Yes, this is jazz at its best with its distinct Latin
flavorings. On “One Step Ahead” compositionally Samuels
appears too be under the influence of tenure with Spyro Gyro.
is melodically stimulating with an intense samba vibe. Flugelhornist Diego
Urcola tonality and solos deserves
applause along with pianist Dario Eskenazi’s contributions as
well. “On The
Road”(Birds of A Feather, 2003) is one of my favorite jams on
the disc! The pulse of the groove is impeccable with emphasis
on the invigorating spirit of the samba. The bluesy “Five for
Elvin” comes off of their “Paraiso, 2001” release. I
can only imagine that this exceptional tune was written with drummer Elvin
Jones in mind.
Caribbean Jazz Project’s
treatment of Coltrane’s classic “Naima” is so sweet (Paraiso,
2001) trumpeter Diego Urcola sounds
if he’s under the influence of jazz great Arturo Sandoval.
Samuels and percussionist Quintero pays homage to Dizzy
Gillespie’s “Night in Tunisia” (New Horizons, 2000) by
exhaling sonic nuances into this classic establishing their presence
as noble warriors of they’re instruments until the 2:20 mark, soon
thereafter CJP joins in swinging into overdrive with their
exuberant interplay and powerful solos.
One thing that’s most
fascinating about Caribbean Jazz Project is they’re uncanny
ability encompass and exalt each composition creatively interceding
with the voice of depth and passion at a moments notice. CJP embraces
“Caravan” another jazz classic and the last selection on
“Here and Now”. At the climax the band absolutely rips it
up with their free flowing artistry, bringing this invigorating and
challenging 14-track music experience to and end.