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Latin America - Released August 2, 2019 | Timba Records

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Latin America - Released May 7, 2019 | Timba Records

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Latin America - Released May 3, 2019 | Timba Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released February 27, 2019 | Timba Records

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Latin America - Released December 28, 2018 | Timba Records

This recording of Puerto Rican Latin-jazz musicians is not a jam session per se, but a showcase of individual musicians leading various bands, a total of some 65 different players. The recordings were organized by trumpeter Humberto Ramirez, who appears on the first cut with the All Stars and solos brilliantly on the finale with the Puerto Rico Jazz Orchestra. Better known stars such as trumpeter Charlie Sepulveda, saxophonist Justo Almario, percussionist Alex Acuna, and Ramirez are featured, as are young, up-and-coming artists like cuatro player Prodigio Claudio, pianist Luis Marin, and percussionist Paoli Mejias. The impressive Grupo Del Sur Al Norte features trumpeter Julio Alvarado, tenor saxophonist Frankie Perez, and trombonist Jorge Diaz for the hot "Mambo Mongo." Mejias and his band Checkmate serve up a most progressive chart at melting point, horns trading solos off the bat of the bridge and throughout a montuno piano bridge for the engaging "Asora." Marin combines electric and acoustic keys for "Laurel Z27," a heavy, ostinato, dark, time-shifting, fusion-inflected piece with snaky lines, electric guitar from Ivan Maraver, layers of juxtaposed rhythms and harmonies, and real interactive counterpoint. The best and most jazz oriented horn chart of the date comes from Sepulveda's Turnaround sextet on the bright, Jazz Messenger-ish "Bomba Pa' Carmen," while quatro players Claudio and Quique Domenech jam with trumpet/trombone backdrops, furiously on the bridge for the dance tune "Bello Amanceer." The All Stars do a marvelous take on John Carisi's "Israel" in clave rhythm with Ramirez's trumpet and Almario's tenor juking with pianist Papo Lucca's montuno piano, leading to Eddie Palmieri's conga player Richie Flores and the legendary bongo player Roberto Roena in a furious, extended descarga with drummer Acuna. The P.R.J. Orchestra (with completely different personnel than all of the other cuts save Ramirez), serves up "Lamento Boricano" for eight minutes of a hip Oliver Nelson/Thad Jones type chart, loaded with dynamic fireworks, soothing, soaring, or wafting melodies, and that infectious, bubbling, rhythmic underpinning. The only disappointment -- perhaps an anomaly -- is a simplistic, smooth-jazz funk cha-cha with electric piano and fake hand claps titled "A Smile From You" (written by Ramirez) from young alto saxophonist Edgar Abraham. It seems ill-suited to fit the rest of the program's authenticity. All in all, this is a pretty good sampling of the talent from Puerto Rico vis-à-vis Cuba in this salsastic ocean of expressionism. Recommended. ~ Michael G. Nastos
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World - Released December 7, 2018 | Timba Records

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Miscellaneous - Released July 27, 2018 | Timba Records

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World - Released June 29, 2018 | Timba Records

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Folk/Americana - Released June 29, 2018 | Timba Records

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Jazz - Released May 18, 2018 | Timba Records

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World - Released March 30, 2018 | Timba Records

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Latin America - Released March 2, 2018 | Timba Records

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Latin America - Released December 8, 2017 | Timba Records

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Latin America - Released November 24, 2017 | Timba Records

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Rap/Hip-Hop - Released November 24, 2017 | Timba Records

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Pop - Released November 30, 2017 | Timba Records

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Electronic/Dance - Released November 17, 2017 | Timba Records

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Latin America - Released November 17, 2017 | Timba Records

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Latin America - Released November 17, 2017 | Timba Records

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Latin America - Released October 27, 2017 | Timba Records