Thursday, September 3, 2015

Samuel Torres Group, Forced Displacement

Samuel Torres is a very talented conga master. He heads the Samuel Torres Group in a vibrant recent album of Latin jazz, Forced Displacement (Zoho 201507). It is an eight-member ensemble with an excellent trumpet-sax-trombone horn section, piano, bass, drums, and percussionist Jonathan Gomez along with of course Samuel presiding from the congas.

Ten tightly together Torres compositions comprise the program, which are substantial in themselves and serve to showcase Torres's multi-conga melodic-percussive mastery while also getting some wonderful Latin grooves going and setting the stage for some very good soloing from the band.

Torres's playing is not to me missed. It is exhilaratingly advanced and innovative. He is a melodic force in the compositional framework, with his multi-congas tuned to scales, and can flat out groove, too. And the band is very hip, very fresh, tight, and musically sound in the best ways.

Anyone who wants to be bowled over by a top-notch congalero will find this one unbeatable. But then it is some advanced and forward moving Latin jazz, too, with very involved arrangements and a wide spectrum of musical ideas and grooves.

Forced Displacement reaches for the sky and grabs it. Listen to this one, definitely!

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