Sunday 6 February 2011

Sebastiao Tapajos & Friends - Sambas & Bossas On Guitar (1997)

Waves (Ondes)
Brasileiro & Samba Em Berlin
Canção Para Marisa
Vale Do Amenhecer
Luá Joá
Tocata Para Billy Blanco
Chega De Saudade
Asa Branca
Sorriso Da Tristeza.

A collection of warm and wonderful bossa work from guitarist Sebastiao Tapajos – most of it recorded with a sweetly jazzy sound! The work here is from the late 70s and early 80s – and it features Tapajos on guitar on all numbers, joined by a shifting array of guests who include Paulo Moura on soprano sax, Sivuca on accordion, Mauricion Einhorn on harmonica, Gilson Peranzzetta on piano, and the Zimbo Trio on rhythm. Arrangements are all by Tapajos himself, and although the music was recorded over the period of a few years, there's a relatively unified feel to the set. Titles include "Wave", "Ganga", "Sertao", "Tristeza", "Xingu", "Vale Do Amanhecer", and "Viajeiro".

Pat Martino - Cream (1997)

The Breeze and I
Both Sides Now
Alone Together
Send in the Clowns
Three Base Hit
Blue Bossa
Do You Have a Name?
How Insensitive.

Pat Martino (guitar)
Bobby Rose (guitar)
Willis "Gator" Jackson (tenor saxophone)
Gil Goldstein (piano, electric piano)
Eddie Green , Ron Thomas (electric piano)
Charles Earland (organ)
Tyrone Brown (fretless bass)
Sherman Ferguson (drums, percussion)
Idris Muhammad, Joey Baron, Billy Hart, Billy Higgins (drums)
Buddy Caldwell (congas).

The 32 Jazz compilation Cream collects tracks from some of guitarist Pat Martino's best albums, including Consciousness and his post-brain aneurysm 1987 comeback Return. Although 32 Jazz also reissued most of the albums these cuts come from, having them in one place makes for a nice introduction to Martino's distinctive ambient "machine gun"-like improvisational style. ~ Matt Collar.
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Saturday 5 February 2011

Balkan Express - Rare Jazz,Fusion Gems From Yugoslavian Vaults (2001)

A1.RTB Big Band - Balkan Express 6:53
A2.Misa Blam* - Memory 7:54
A3.Lala Kovacev* - Emina 7:41
A4.Milan Stojanovic* - Bag's Groove 3:37
B1.Dusko Gojkovic* - Quo Vadis Samba 5:44
B2.Gaby Novak* - Caravan 2:14
B3.Big Band RTS* - Ne Ga Se Prodavaj 6:49
B4.Bora Rokovic* - String-Em 6:12.

This is just what listeners need: a collection of radicalized street-smart jazz (tailor-made for soundtracks), jazz-funk, and fusion sounds from Yugoslavia in the late '70s and early '80s. No, I'm not jivin'. Balkan Express features eight tracks (how perfect) of slinky, funky, highly stylized imitations of American soundtrack and bachelor pad music -- of the same variety that was made here almost 20 years before. And the truth is that this would be pure kitsch if the musicianship, arrangements, and tunes themselves weren't so badass great. Once the lack of originality is dispensed with, you can get down to the grease: Dusko Gojkovic's "Quo Vadis Samba," a theme taken right from the film with its awesome, post-bossa rhythmic inventions and front-line horn invention that would never have been part of a Brazilian recording. The arrangement is tight, almost choppy, but the tone on the horns is smooth as Kessler's. Then there's Milan Stojanovic's read of "Bag's Groove" by Miles Davis, with its sinister minor-key opening and slinky, shifty flute as the lead line instead of a muted trumpet, giving the entire thing a spy movie feel. The bluesy soloing in the break is wonderfully done and the rhythm section, even though they're walkin' off the time and nothing more, is straight-eighting it all the way with feeling. Also, the RTB Big Band should not go unmentioned for its arrangement of the title track, which is funky as hell with odder-than-Milosevic harmonies in the reed section. Misa Blam comes in with "Memory," a sub-Herbie Mann groover, but it's dirtier and grittier, as if it were recorded in the foundry. Finally, Bora Rokovic's "String-Em" is a dead knockoff of Ennio Morricone, with glissando strings, reverb, spacious architecture, and a full-on fuzak interlude that slips the funky groove into the listener's mind through the back door. This is an awesome collection, and necessary for anybody's incredibly strange music library. ~ Thom Jurek.
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Rember Duharte - Cimarron (2009)

12.La Ciudad.

Rember Duharte (piano, teclado y voz)
Germán Velazco (saxo alto y saxo tenor)
Evaristo Denis Baró (saxo barítono)
Giraldo Piloto (drums en 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, y 10)
Anthuan Perugorría (drums en 5, 8, 11 y 12)
Osmar Salazar (bajo)
Robertico García (fliscornio y trompeta)
Dreiser Durruthy (tambores batá)
Yaroldy Abreu (percusión)
Diana Rosa Álvarez (clarinete bajo)
DayméArocena y Pepe Scull (voz en 12).

Duharte Rember was born in Havana in 1976 and despite his youth is yet another new promise of Cuban jazz. Rembert makes its appearance in the music when you decide to start their studies at the Escuela Nacional de Arte taking as an instrument the trumpet. Later he decided to study composition at the Instituto Superior de Arte, a career that leads him to the piano instrument that makes a visit to various Cuban bands ranging from Klimax until Wade, past the iconic Oscar Valdés group: Diak. His talent has taken him to tour several countries participating in the most prestigious festivals of the genre around the world. The most important in France, Sweden, Netherlands and Luxembourg. In 2004 won the composition prize awarded by SGAE in the Plaza Jazz Festival where he was the favorite of great how Chucho Valdés and Michel Legrand. Two years later would be the winner for two consecutive years in 2006 and 2007 JoJazz contest, a competition that brings together young as gender in the island.
The CD "Cimarron" his directorial debut, recorded at a young exponent based their art on the Afro-Cuban sounds with a strong jazz influence in the 80's. Not find a musician caught up in surprising us with a sound that delimit these times. Rather, the sensation of listening to the phonogram is to be facing one of the most mature pianists and composers of the Cuban scene. It is very common in Cuban pianist of our time listening to piano notes uttered more as a percussion instrument in the mix of Cuban popular music genres.
Rember in the hands of the piano takes a more melodic texture while remaining immersed in the complex variations of their compositions. On an Afro-Cuban rhythmic Rember up at home with an incredible wealth of resources that gives each instrument works within the space they deserve, leaving room for individual creativity of each performer without ever losing the signal that was proposed . Despite his musical maturity and the proposal openly influenced by the classic sounds of the 80's and 90's, driving bits and the synthesizer how flags, the CD "Cimarron" never ceases to surprise also for his renewed energy and daring assuming how yours any influence of our time, transporting us to a new trend where the young man not afraid to say you borrowed, but to make him a new dimension bathed our Cuban sounds.
Of note is the presence on this disc undisputed masters of Cuban jazz as Velazco and Giraldo Piloto Germain who make crucial appearances be definitively contribute much to the path chosen by Rember for its first production. All tracks on this CD were composed by Rember, and now is one of the candidates to win the award for best jazz album in the Cubadisco 2010. Just as curious is that there is another album of the pianist recorded live at the Amadeo Roldán Theater, of which I have no information. On arrival at my hands I share, the same way appreciate the gesture if someone had. Without further issue here I leave you with another proposal which I hope will be well pleased.
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Afonso Pais - Subsequencias (2008)

2.Mestre Bemvaiorna
5.Quando For
7.Roda Dentada.

Afonso Pais - Guitars,Piano
Edu Lobo - Vocals (tracks 6,7)
Carlos Barretto - Double Bass
Alexandre Frazao - Drums.

Afonso Pais is already, in spite of youth, one of the most renowned guitarists nationals. Student School Jazz Hot Club of Portugal and later scholarship at Berklee College of Music in Boston, eventually graduating from the Mannes College of New York, where he was a student of Peter Bernstein and Kurt Rosenwinkel and Vic Juris.
Back to Portugal started an experimental project with Joanne Machado, and Newfoundland, where he worked with Peter Bernstein, Peter Zak, Perico Sambeat, Marc Miralta, Chris Higgins, Albert Sanz, Alexis Cuadrado, Carlos Barretto and Alexander Frazier.
Terranova has been with the project, in a trio with Carlos Barretto and Alexander Frazier, who recorded his first album in 2004 by Clean Feed. He was also responsible for the musical direction of two albums have been issued by Madeiran singer Joana Machado, Crude and In the House of Oscar.
As a teacher at the School of Music and Performing Arts of Porto, Funchal and the Conservatory of the Jazz School still Luís Villas-Boas of the Hot Club of Portugal.
Subsequences is his second album as leader, repeating the rhythm section of luxury, Carlos Barretto on double bass and Alexander Frazier on drums (who shares with the trio of Bernardo Sassetti), but changing the label, which became the German Enja, which you will certainly be a greater international visibility.
Complementing the main ambition of the project comes the name of the Brazilian Edu Lobo, who gives voice to two original songs by guitarist: Considering and Sprocket, the latter already recorded by the singer Joana Machado.
Since then is to highlight the option for the guitarist in trio formation, revealing a confidence unusual in earlier works. The same assumption requires the exclusive (or almost, since in any of the discs there are guest musicians for some themes) tasks melodic, Afonso Pais that ensures a personalized way. But also noteworthy is the almost exclusive original bet for both recordings, revealing a facet of the composer fully achieved, by the guitarist.
Recorded in 2006 in Studio Mario Barreiros in Vila Nova de Gaia, Subsequências had to wait two years to reach the shelves of the clubs, but did so through a prestigious international publishing house. Afonso Pais on it also reveals unexpected gifts as a pianist, as one of the themes, precisely what gives the album name, is a blues played by himself and the piano on which to honor three pianists who have proved important in his musical influences: Hank Jones Thelonious Monk and Antonio Carlos Jobim.
Also noteworthy are the arrangement for the song Inside jazz, done by the British as well as Underground Nooday Whereas, a sophisticated ballad written by guitarist and arranged in partnership with Edu Lobo, who gives voice.
A disc that confirms the talent of Afonso Pais, already known from previous works, but they added a more mature, composition, arrangements and broadened his musical palette and instrumental.
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Fareed Haque Group - Cosmic Hug (2005)

01.Gulab Jammin
04.Fade Into Bolivion
07.Cosmic Hug
10.Short Suite
11.Sassi Lassi.

Kalyan Pathak (vocals,tabla,percussion)
Fareed Haque (elec guitar,steel guitar,class guitar,sitar,key,loops)
Dan Nimmer (electric piano,Fender Rhodes piano)
J. Cappo (keyboards,electronics)
Jon Paul (bass guitar)
Dan Leali (drums).

With the realization that there will always be more music coming at him than he can keep up with, AAJ Managing Editor John Kelman wonders why anyone would think that jazz is dead or dying.
When guitarist Fareed Haque first came onto the scene in the late ‘80s, he revealed his impressive technique and placed diverse musical interests, including classical and Indian music, within a more improvisational jazz context. It seemed as though he’d be the next big thing. With a melodic sensibility that brought to mind certain elements of Pat Metheny, along with the blinding technique of an Al Di Meola (albeit more restrained and, consequently, less bombastic), it just seemed like a sure thing. Sadly, following three efforts for Blue Note that included an imaginative reinvention of Crosby, Stills Nash & Young’s Déjà Vu, Haque seemed to disappear off the radar.
Of course, that doesn’t mean that Haque hasn’t been busy. His distinctive approach, especially to classical guitar, has found him as a guest on recordings by artists including Karl Denson, David Sanborn, and Paquito D’Rivera. And while it’s been some time since he’s released an album under his own name, he’s been an integral part of the fusion group Garaj Mahal, which also features bassist Kai Eckhardt.
Gradually, Haque has become better known on the jam band scene, and so it’s no surprise that his latest effort, Cosmic Hug—his first in eight years and the debut of his new Fareed Haque Group—fits comfortable within that aesthetic. Sceptics who might imagine that this means endlessly meandering solos couldn’t be farther from the truth. Cosmic Hug certainly revolves around the admirable talents of all involved—keyboard players Dan Nimmer and J Cappo, bassist Jon Paul, drummer Don Leoli, and percussionist Kalyan Pathak—but everyone demonstrates a remarkable amount of self-control, making every solo meaningful and to the point.
While New York guitarist Rez Abassi’s Snake Charmer fused Indo-centric sensibilities with a more openly harmonic jazz approach, Haque blends a similar sensibility with approachable and compelling grooves. Given that Indian music is more centred on rhythm and linear melody, this is a powerful mix. Cosmic Hug has the kind of imaginative soloing that one would expect from Haque and anyone he would associate with, but it’s also infectiously danceable. Live, this group must surely smoke.
That’s not to say that all tracks are based on Indian concepts. “Brd” is a powerful piece of fusion with a convoluted unison theme and frenzied feel that harkens back to Return to Forever. “Sassi Lassi” likewise sports a funkier fusion front, with a lighter façade. Still, the riff-based “Gulab Jammin,” “FH/SK,” and “Lahara,” all featuring Pathak’s tablas and vocals, clearly weigh in with a strong eye eastwards.
Throughout, Haque—on assorted electric and acoustic guitars, as well as a sitar guitar—demonstrates a remarkable ability to blend a variety of influences. At the end of the day, Cosmic Hug is a jam band/fusion record, but it doesn’t rely on longwinded excess. Loose in approach yet never overstaying its welcome, the Fareed Haque Group is certainly one of the more interesting and distinctive units to hit the jam band scene.By John Kelman.
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Friday 4 February 2011

Sebastiao Tapajos - Virtuoso (2002)

01.Tocata Para Billy Blanco
03.A 200 Por Hora
04.Pedacinhos Do Ceu
05.Valsa de Esquina
08.Lua JOA
14.Brinquedo Pro Junior.

Wednesday 2 February 2011

Jim Hall - Concierto (1975)

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Fridrik Karlsson - Point Blank (1991)

01.Road To Salso
02.Back To Basics
03.Cloud 30
04.Night Breeze
05.Sin Ti
06.Point Blank
07.Morning Mist
08.Savannah Colada
09.Dream Forrest
10.Odds And Events.

Fridrik Karlsson - guitar
Johann Asmudsson - bass
Gunnlaugur Briem - drums
Jeroen de Rijk - percussion
Eypor Gunnarsson - keyboards
Danny Gottlieb - drums
Manolo Badrena - percussion
Mark Egan - bass.

Fridrik Karlsson was born in Iceland and moved to England in 1996. He started playing guitar when he was 16 years old. He got a degree in classical and jazz/rock guitar. He's most well known for his work with Mezzoforte who had a worldwide hit back in 1983 with "Gardenparty".
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David Sanborn - Promise Me The Moon (1977)

1.Promise Me the Moon 4:01
2.Benjamin 1:33
3.Stranger's Arms4:21
4.Heart Lake 5:21
5.The Rev 3:56
6.We Fool Ourselves 5:14
7.Morning Salsa 6:06
8.The Legend of Cheops 6:36

David Sanborn (Saxophone Alto,Sopranino,Lyricon)
Hiram Bullock (vocals, guitar)
Kat McCord, Hamish Stuart , Christine Faith, Lani Groves (vocals)
Dale Oehler (electric piano, keyboards)
Rosalinda DeLeon (keyboards)
Victor Lewis (drums)
Mark Egan (bass)
Jumma Santos (percussion).
Criteria Studios, Miami, FL.

David Sanborn's third album as a leader has him steering away from the N.Y.C. neo-bop, skunk funk, Seventh Avenue style he helped co-found with the Brecker Brothers band. That it is recorded in Miami speaks volumes about the sunny attitude and less jazz-oriented music he is fomenting. Guitarist/vocalist Hiram Bullock and emerging electric bass guitar star Mark Egan have something to do with this, but the extraordinary drummer Victor Lewis is the one who gives this music an R&B heft while also adding Latin flavors, like boogaloo on growth hormones. Keyboardist Rosalinda DeLeon, percussionist Jumma Santos, and four female vocalists help with the sexy Afro-Caribbean underpinning, while Sanborn plays his trusty St. Louis soul vibrato-drenched alto sax, and also experiments with sopranino sax and the lyricon. The album yields mixed results -- including some spectacular, fervent music, with the tamer sounds more likely to appeal to crossover or pop audiences. Clearly James Taylor is an influence on this music, as his guitarist Danny Kortchmar contributes tunes like the forgettable pop-funk of the title track with Bullock's vocals; "Stranger's Arms," where Sanborn painfully takes a shot at singing; and the band's not bad, slow, loping, Latin-tinged instrumental version of Taylor's "Benjamin." Bullock's two compositions are "We Fool Ourselves," reverting to the chunky, funky street-smart samba beat with Sanborn's rambling alto, though the singing is not helpful, and "The Rev," a slowed soul song more suited to the R&B aspect of the combo's demeanor. Then to the good stuff, as Egan's "Heart Lake" is a road song with Sanborn's sopranino paving the way via Egan's ostinato line after a spacy free intro. DeLeon's "Morning Salsa" is early tropicalia at its best, a fun tune that moves along briskly, but makes you wonder why the keyboardist was never heard from after this date -- maybe just a fling? Then there's "The Legend of Cheops," a stunning piece penned by Lewis that also showed up in the repertoire of Woody Shaw during the drummer's tenure with the trumpeter. Here it's charged with electricity from the wafting keyboardist and punchy, hip bassist, as Sanborn's swirling sopranino provides all the dynamism and depth he is capable of, while also negotiating some tricky key and time changes -- a memorable track for sure. While not as much a breakthrough as the two previous albums, Taking Off and Sanborn, Promise Me the Moon laid the groundwork for Sanborn to become a successful commercial money-maker and reliable production musician or soloist instead of the creative -- and at times innovative -- player hinted at in many instances here during the turning point of his career. ~ Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide.
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Pablo Ablanedo Octet - Alegria (2002)

02.La Procesión
03.Una Más
05.Espiritu Mágico
07.El Grito Sagrado
08.La Vida Sigue
10.Y Así Se Va.

Jenny Scheinman (violin)
Taylor Haskins (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Anat Cohen (clarinet)
Chris Cheek (tenor and soprano sax)
Jerome Sabbagh (tenor and soprano sax)
Ben Monder (electric guitar)
Pablo Ablanedo (piano)
Fernando Huergo (bass)
Franco Pinna (drums)
Julio Santillan (acoustic guitar).
Recorded in New York, New York in 2002.

In the photo included with Alegría, the Pablo Ablanedo Octet resembles a nerdy and decidedly square bunch. Their music, however, has no equal in the market, patterning highly urbane musical concepts and compositions, coupled with advanced ensemble work and superior performances from all musicians. The leader’s ethnic background is unmistakable, although one must leave any preconceptions about the possibilities afforded by such a coalescence of jazz, classical and Argentinean popular, folk and cultured music.
On “Una Más,” or “Another One,” there is a latent urgency experienced through an increasing degree of intensity. Pairing the writing with highly effective tension and release sections of attractive percussive coloring leads to a highly versatile and forward-looking drum solo by Franco Pinna, whose earlier lardy playing with the bombo legüero introduced an extended solo passage by the excellent Taylor Haskins on trumpet. The latter has superb control of his breathing, a breathy tone with ample emotive, harmonic, melodic and rhythmic data to process the complexity that characterizes this remarkable production and its distinctive sound.
Being Argentinean means that Latin American aesthetic surrealism and the characteristic penchant for melancholy will rank high in the harmonic and melodic structures of Ablanedo’s compositions. On both “Coral” and “La Procesión,” respectively meaning “Chorale” and “The Procession,” there are extended ruminations of brooding nostalgia that amaze in interest rather than bog one’s emotions down. One can actually see and feel the procession inching slowly towards their unidentified, yet instinctively known destination. Harmonically and melodically privileged playing characterizes both of these humane and stately pieces.
“La Vida Sigue” (“Life Goes On”) has a most celebratory head which sets the overall impetus and flow of almost 11 minutes of silky exuberance. Jerome Sabbagh shines on reeds with impeccable technique, loads of heart and soul, and loaded lines of thought. Ablanedo and Haskins also play a vital role in pulling off a vehicle for conveying the binding dance of the living. The pianist’s classical chops come to the fore when heeded by the composition; yet, before you even realize it, you are enveloped in a boppin’ mid-passage kept pulsing by Sabbagh until released by Ablanedo’s passage of beauty and reflection. Just like life…
The Pablo Ablanedo Octet merits many other words of praise, including a more rigorous comment on Jenny Scheinman’s impressive violin work, the remarkable arrangements and compositions, as well as the endemic capacity for the tunes to embody their thematic outlook. Together and on their own, these musicians are simply impressive, as this is challenging material that demands restraint, good taste, discipline, an expansive expressiveness and technique that can only be gained through experience.
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Pat Martino - Remember,A Tribute To Wes Montgomery (2006)

01.Four on Six
02.Groove Yard
03.Full House
05.Twisted Blues
06.Road Song
07.West Coast Blues
09.If I Should Lose You
10.Unit 7.

Pat Martino (guitar)
Dave Kikoski (piano)
John Patitucci (bass instrument)
Scott Allan Robinson (drums)
Daniel Sadownick (percussion).

Pat Martino and Wes Montgomery were two of the most famous guitarists to emerge out of the '60s jazz scene, an era that saw the guitar raised to the status of saxophones and trumpets. Martino and Montgomery's styles, however, were quite different, one rapid-fire post-bop, the other blues-based hard bop. This doesn't mean, however, that Martino wasn't -- like everyone else -- influenced by Montgomery. Martino's Remember: A Tribute to Wes Montgomery, then, isn't so much an album that seeks to mimic the style of another guitarist, but a loving tribute that reflects without copying Montgomery's style. Yes, Martino does pull gems from the Montgomery catalog like "Four on Six" and "West Coast Blues," and he even references his use of octaves more than once, but this is more reflective than stylistic. Martino is joined on this outing by pianist David Kikoski, bassist John Patitucci, and percussionists Scott Allan Robinson and Daniel Sadownick for solid takes on Montgomery's "Road Song," Carl Perkins' "Groove Yard," and Sam Jones' "Unit Seven." While it might be revealing to compare these and other sides to Montgomery's recordings, it's probably more fun for listeners to just allow these reinterpreted recordings to wash over them. For Martino and Montgomery fans, and for anyone who loves good guitar music, Remember is a well-conceived and executed album. ~ Ronnie D. Lankford, Jr.
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Tuesday 1 February 2011

Michel Camilo Big Band - Caribe (2009)

01.Why Not?
03.Suite Sandrine Part III
05.Just Kiddin’
06.Not Yet

Michel Camilo – Piano
Anthony Jackson – Contrabass Guitar
Cliff Almond – Drums
Guarionex Aquino – Percussion
John Faddis – Trumpet
Michael Mossman – Trumpet
Virgil Jones – Trumpet
Dave Bergeron – Trombone
Ed Neumeister – Trombone
William Cepeda – Trombone
David Taylor – Bass Trombone
Chris Hunter – Alto & Soprano Sax
Alex Foster – Alto Sax & Flute
Ralph Bowen – Tenor Sax & Flute
Lou Marini – Tenor Sax & Flute
Gary Smulyan – Baritone Sax.

Over the Casa de Campo hills in La Romana (Dominican Republic) lies Altos de Chavon, a very special, unreal place. A balcony atop the town affords a breathtaking view of the Chavon River. It was there that Francis Ford Coppola filmed the battle scenes for Apocalypse Now.
Designed by the Dominican architect Jose Antonio Caro as a replica of a sixteenth century Mediterranean village, and created by Italian master designer/cinematographer Roberto Coppa, the construction of Altos de Chavon began in 1976. At its very heart lie the Performing Arts Center of Altos de Chavon School of Design, with its crown jewel, a 5,000 seat Grecian-style amphitheater, inaugurated in 1982 with a live HBO special, The Concert of the Hemispheres, featuring Frank Sinatra and the Buddy Rich Big Band.
In 1994, Michel Camilo returned to his homeland. But he was not alone. Alongside him were his inseparable Sandra (Sandrine) and an A-list group of musicians. On December 3rd, a concert took place at the Altos de Chavon amphitheater that no one who was fortunate to be there is ever likely to forget.
Now, fifteen years later, that transfixing evening comes alive again for everyone to fully savor. Seldom does one find a musical dream team of this stature in a hypnotic state of collective inspiration.
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