WAYNE WALLACE LATIN JAZZ QUINTET: ¡Bien Bien!
LATIN JAZZ – This crack Bay Area ensemble turns out a solid mix of styles, blending Puerto Rican and Cuban rhythms, and also playing straight-ahead jazz as seen through a Latin lens. The band is less interested here in pyrotechnics than in joyous creative expression over steady grooves. Wallace is warm and vibrant on trombone, and the ensemble moves as one. 4&7 have extra trombones, and #2 has great vocal work. This is one of Wallace’s best discs to date.
* * * * | All good. Fo’s Picks: 2, 4, 5, 8, 9
1. 6:40 – relaxed, balmy groove: flowing piano solo, buttery trombone. Nice.
2. 5:14 – neat duo vocals here, and the famous twisty melody fits beautifully
3. 6:39 – midtempo, an old-school, swaying “tropical night” sound, glides along
4. 6:33 – warm and catchy; 3 trombones weave thru multiple rhythmic phases
5. 7:02 – sweet & lazy Ellington ballad: muted trombone chews it like taffy
6. 5:50 – the cha-cha-cha beat takes it easy, but trombone goes to town
7. 6:09 – tripping rhythm: 3 trombone solos each cast a different light on it
8. 4:54 – happy sound, bright with a chugging groove, perky piano & drums
9. 6:06 – deep intro, intriguing groove painted in dusky tones; strong trombone