Monday, February 15, 2016

The Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet, 10

What exactly is Afro-Peruvian music? One excellent answer comes from The Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet and their 5th album celebrating ten years of music making, 10 (Zoho 201509). It is trumpet-leader Gabriel Alegria and a worthy band of trumpet, saxes, percussion, guitar, double bass, drums and vocals. They are joined by an illustrious gathering of guests that includes Ron Carter, Essiat Essiat, Arturo O'Farrill, Badal Roy and some prominent Peruvian musicians in a program of very Afro-grooving music.

The band makes all kinds of music their own with special arrangements. There are the traditional and Peruvian standards alongside anything from "Caravan," "My Favorite Things," "Birdland" "Lonely Woman" and even "The Star Spangled Banner" and the Peruvian National Anthem. It is the making-over of it all into Afro-Peruvian jazz that brings us into a different sunlight.

Lots of Afro-Peruvian percussion, trumpet and sax ensemble and solo spots, and tradition-inflected vocals movingly carry the day. The objective was to bridge the geographical and musical space between Peru and USA both in the repertoire and its treatment.

The music and the group thrive by the artistry of all concerned and the special arrangements the band realizes with fire and groove.

Very recommended for those who would like to dig into some unique and very fine Latin Jazz in a contemporary mode.

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