Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Oscar Perez Nuevo Comienzo, "Afropean Affair:" Latin Jazz with Lift and Fire

Young pianist-composer Oscar Perez fields a hot group of young lions and gives them some very nice compositions-arrangements on a nuevo Latin Jazz outing entitled Afropean Affair (Chandra 8094). There is a Blue Note-ish classicism-cum-Latin going on much of the time here. These are in essence two horn, piano and rhythm hard-bop charts, but thoroughly Latinized.

Perez plays an occasionally Tyner-influenced and always classic jazz-informed Latin piano; Greg Glassman has the trumpet brassiness of Clifford Brown and Fats Navarro through Freddie Hubbard, Lee Morgan and Woody Shaw; and Tenorist Stacy Dillard has eclectic roots in titans like Mobley, Shorter, Golson & early Trane. He makes something contemporary and personal out of the tradition.

The rhythm section has nice Latin jazz leverage.

It's all quite good. This is a new Latin jazz outfit that bears close watching!

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