New Horizons | Things Caribbean Added Daily

New Horizons

August 20, 2016 - Comment

For its third CD, Caribbean Jazz Project has retooled, with vibes and marimba player Dave Samuels squarely in the leader’s chair. In its first two chapters CJP was purely a cooperative band under the shared leadership of Samuels, alto sax/clarinetist Paquito d’Rivera, and steel pan drummer Andy Narell. Samuels has since replaced them with two

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For its third CD, Caribbean Jazz Project has retooled, with vibes and marimba player Dave Samuels squarely in the leader’s chair. In its first two chapters CJP was purely a cooperative band under the shared leadership of Samuels, alto sax/clarinetist Paquito d’Rivera, and steel pan drummer Andy Narell. Samuels has since replaced them with two different sounds: Steve Khan on guitar and Dave Valentin on flute. Now focused more squarely on Latin American rhythms, the band achieves a subtle harmonic blend, keyed by Samuels’s inherently shrewd instruments and by Khan’s consummate team-playing. Samuels is the most distinctive voice, and faced with either an aluminum (vibes) or wood (marimba) surface to play on, his role requires perhaps more guile and calculation than playing wind instruments would. No bending allowed. Rounding out the cast is a trio of young Latin jazz fire-breathers: bassist John Benitez and drummer-percussionists Richie Flores and Robert Vilera. New Horizons is rife with sweet melodies, played with skill and fire in the belly–but fire with well-tailored, positive calculation and cunning, never overbearing. –Willard Jenkins

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