EXCITING RHYTHMS…AfroHorn: Rare Metal/Francisco Mora Catlett, Manuel Valera & New Cuban Express: Expectativas

If you want some percussion in your discussions and like the Afro Cuban (or just the Afro) groove, sit yourself down and give an ear to these two beauties…

Francisco Mora Catlett plays the drums and percussion, writes, arranges and directs the music on this collection of sound that takes you back to the ancestral land of jazz and brings it up to date with modern soloing. A mix of other percussionists (Roman Diaz & Andrew Daniels) adds texture to a hard hitting team of Sam Newsome/ss, Salim Washington/ts-fl-ob, Alex Harding/bs-bcl, Aruan Ortiz/p and Rashaan Carter/b as well as a mixture of vocalists going solo or in choir form. The melding of reeds creates irresistibly rich sounds on pieces such as “Baruasuayo Mamakenya” while the percussion comes across like a stampede of wildebeest on “”Afra Jum” and “Blue People.” Exciting unison lines on the horns cut sharp like a charging rhino on “5 X Max” and when vocals come in on “Make Ifa” or “Oyu Oro” you feel like you’re going back and forward in time simultaneously. Great moments here.

Keyboardist Manuel Valera brings together a hip little team of percussionists( Ludwig Afonso/dr, Paulo Stagnaro/perc and Maruicio Herrera/perc )that l ay down a seductive foundation for Yosvany Terry/sax, Tom Guarna/g, John Benitez/b and the leader to do some marvelously subtle original work. Terry’s alto glides along “ Cham, while Valera’s work on the keyboards and piano body surf over the tides on “Perception” and “Chennai Express.” Benitez’s bass dances along on “Descaber Timba”. The whole feel of the disc has a mellow yet rustling groove all throughout, melding the two feels like a sweet and sour sauce.

AACE Records

Mavo Records


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