This Concord CD was Tito Puente's 99th as a leader and the music is particularly strong. Four jazz standards alternate with a quartet of Puente's originals and Chucho Valdes' "Cha Cha Cha," all of which are potentially good vehicles for jazz improvisations (although "Ode" and "Lambada" are dominated by group vocals). There are plenty of fine solos throughout by the five horn players and the three or four-piece percussion section keeps the rhythms infectious. In the world of Latin-jazz, Tito Puente has had few peers.
For this particular Tito Puente recording, his exciting three-horn, three-percussion Latin jazz octet (which includes longtime saxophone soloist Mario Rivera) is joined by alto great Phil Woods on three of the eight selections, including Thelonious Monk's "Pannonica" and "Repetition." Such songs as "Corner Pocket," "Carioca" and Dizzy Gillespie's "Con Alma" sound perfectly natural in this Afro-Cuban jazz setting, and Puente (well featured on vibes and timbales) is responsible for two originals and seven of the nine arrangements. The music is danceable, adventurous and quite fun.
The music on Out of This World is consistently exciting, a very winning blend of bop-oriented jazz and Latin rhythms. Among the key players are trumpeter Charlie Sepulveda, trombonist Papo Vazquez, Mario Rivera on tenor, and no less than four Rodriguezes (bassist Bobby, trumpeter Piro, John on bongos, and Jose on chekere).
Tito Puente has long championed Latin-jazz, a combination of Latin percussion and rhythms with bebop-oriented jazz. This release from the Concord Picante label serves as a perfect introduction to his music. For this date Puente (who performs on timbales and marimba) uses six horns, piano, bass, synthesizer and three other percussionists to play everything from "Donna Lee" and "Stompin' at the Savoy" to his own exotic originals.
One of the most creative jazz drummmers of our time, Terri Lyne Carrington continues her visionary musical odyssey by way of The Mosaic Project (GrooveJazz Media/Video Arts Music), her ambitious cross genre production featuring some of the world's top musicians. The veteran producer and composer is joined by Dianne Reeves, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Cassandra Wilson, Esperanza Spalding, Helen Sung, Tineke Postma, Geri Allen, Patrice Rushen, Ingrid Jensen, Sheila E. and Gretchen Parlato, among others.
The very first release by the Concord label was a quartet set featuring guitarists Herb Ellis and Joe Pass, bassist Ray Brown, and drummer Jake Hanna. Ellis and Pass (the latter was just beginning to be discovered) always made for a perfectly complementary team, constantly challenging each other. The boppish music (which mixes together standards with "originals" based on the blues and a standard) is quite enjoyable with the more memorable tunes including "Look for the Silver Lining," "Honeysuckle Rose," "Georgia," "Good News Blues," and "Bad News Blues." This was a strong start for what would become the definitive mainstream jazz label.
Beside Marty Paich, none of Mel Tormé's collaborators exerted such a large influence on the singer's career as George Shearing, the pianist whose understated, expressive accompaniment contributed to Tormé's resurgence during the early '80s. Their six excellent albums together – two of which, An Evening With… and Top Drawer, earned Grammy awards – proved that classic vocal music had outlasted the long night that was the '70s, and emerged to become a timeless American genre. The pair's work for Concord was usually recorded live in a trio or quartet setting; leaving much space for Shearing solos, Tormé occasionally reprised his big standards ("A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," "Lullaby of Birdland," "The Folks Who Live on the Hill"), but often searched for more obscure material he could make his own, and often succeeded. Tormé and Shearing were restless innovators, taking on a full album of World War II standards, medleys devoted to songs about New York and by Duke Ellington, and a stunningly broad range of material: "Oleo," "Lili Marlene," "How Do You Say Auf Wiedersehen?," and "Dat Dere."
Live at Newport finds trumpeter Christian Scott leading his ensemble through a performance at the JVC Jazz Festival in Newport, RI on August 9, 2008. Showcasing the same group that recorded Scott's critically lauded 2007 sophomore album, Anthem, Live at Newport does feature Scott branching out on some new material. Just coming into his own as jazz musician, Scott is nonetheless a talented and deft improviser and his knack for creating brooding, emotionally engaged music brings to mind a mix of '60s Miles Davis and the heady art rock of Radiohead.