There may never be a setting as beautiful or a locale as ideal as a breathtaking ocean view complete with the sounds of beautiful Latin jazz floating over the ocean breeze. The fifth CD in the Colors of Latin Jazz series sets the scene for a collection of contemporary, smooth jazz peppered with Latin rhythms and percussion. This CD is a musical hybrid that's at once cool and smooth, yet hot and spicy! Up first is Jeff Linsky's beauty "Up Late," originally issued on Up Late by Concord Picante. His dynamic colors beckon the listener to "Come With Me," the second track sung and scatted by the inimitable Tania Maria on a cool samba just right for a hot day or night. Another smooth scorcher, "San Sabastian" by Ed Calle with special guest Arturo Sandoval is some of Sandoval's most melodic sax work bordered on all sides by the beauty of Spanish guitar, brass, and strings.
Vibraphonist Cal Tjader is in typically fine form on this live set from 1968. His quintet at the time featured Armand Perazza on congas and pianist Joe Kloess and his repertoire ranged from Afro-Cuban jazz to occasional straightahead tunes. Six of the eight selections on this date are originals by band members or Gary McFarland. Although Tjader had been playing this style of music for 15 years by this time, he still was quite creative and enthusiastic, and is heard throughout in excellent form.
While bandleader and pianist Arturo O'Farrill has always sought to preserve the legacy of Latin jazz, he's never been one to do so it for its own sake, but always for evolutionary purposes. The Offense of the Drum features his 18-piece Afro-Latin Jazz band – a whopping 28 percussion instruments from all over the globe – and a notable host of collaborators including Donald Harrison and Vijay Iyer. The program highlights the cultural sounds and prismatic influences of South America, Spain, and the Caribbean in modern jazz. "Cuarto de Colores" weds the Brazilian, Colombian and Afro-Cuban rhythms to post-bop big-band jazz.