Monday, December 17, 2012

Ninety Miles - Live At Cubadisco (Concord, 2012)

Ninety Miles is a mainstream jazz super-group containing Stefon Harris on vibraphone, Christian Scott on trumpet, and David Sanchez on alto saxophone. They play Latin influenced jazz, particularly influenced by the music of Cuba, located ninety miles off the coast of the United States. This album was recorded live in Cuba with the trio being joined by two excellent Cuban bands which add an authentic and powerful aspect to the music. The symbiosis of the two musical cultures works well, making for a very good concert and an excellent disc. The first performance sets the tone for what is to follow, “And This Too Shall Pass” does not jump in with both feet, but rather builds gradually and patiently developing space and time accordingly. The following “Brown Belle Blues” however is a rhythmic juggernaut with driving percussion and horns aggressively pushing the music forward. “Congo” follows the same path, developing an afro-cuban arrangement that has been in the DNA of jazz since Dizzy Gillespie brought Cuban music into the bebop fold in the 1940’s. This album worked well as a whole proving the sustainability of the relationship between Cuban music and American jazz. One can only hope that the diplomatic climate can warm to a level that will allow musicians from both countries to travel freely and collaborate on more projects like this. Live At Cubadisco - amazon.com

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