Puerto Rico Heineken Jazz Festival 2009
Friday, May 29, 2009
Rebecca Cline and Hilary Noble
The first band to take the stage on Friday night was Enclave. A band founded on 2003 by sax player and percussionist, Hilary Noble and pianist Rebecca Cline.
Clave is the essential rhythm for Caribbean music like Salsa and Latin Jazz. And even though neither, Rebecca or Hilary are from the Caribbean, ( she’s from the USA, he’s from Europe ). Both of them play like they were born and raised in Puerto Rico or Cuba.
Enclave’s music is a mix of modern and Latin Jazz. At times it seems like one is listening to Bob James and suddenly the band breaks into the latin rhythm that gives the name to the band, Enclave.
Hilary does an impressive work switching between the sax and congas. And Cline piano playing is subtle and beautiful on the more traditional jazz and full of energy when she breaks into a "montuno". Supported by a good rhythm section with Eduardo Alvarez on bass and and Steve Langone on drums, Enclave had an eclectic sound and nice compositions.
Jack DeJohnette/Danilo Perez/John Patitucci
These guys need no introduction if you’ve been following the Jazz scene for the last 30 years.
This is a power trio with three musicians at the top of their game. The music between them flows naturally and seems almost organic. Just like a good Jazz band suppose to be. There’s nothing one do but sit down and enjoy the virtuosity of these Jazz Legends.
Eddie Palmieri’s Afro Caribbean Jazz Octet
Friday night ends up with the intense latin beats and flavor of one of the legends of Latin Jazz, Eddie Palmieri.
A great band with an amazing rhythm section.
Vicente Rivero – congas
Jose Clausell – Timbales
Luques Curtis – Bass
Orlando Vegas – Bongos
Good solos on sax and trumpet by Donald Harrison and Mike Rodriguez, but one guy that never cease to amaze me is trombone player, Conrad Herwig. Conrad playing is always energetic, with a clear tone.
Saturday, May 30, 2009
There is always a nice surprise on these Jazz festivals and on Saturday night, that nice surprise was LaTimbistica.
A band formed by young students/musicians from Berklee, two from USA (Alex Brown – piano, Paulo Stagnaro – congas) one from Israel (Niv Toar – trumpet) and 3 from Puerto Rico (Enrique “Kalani” Trinidad – Flute, Juan Maldonado – Bass, Marcos Lopez – timbales). Remember these names cause they are really good musicians and the future of Jazz.
With flawless flute solos and powerful drum playing, Trinidad and Lopez may be called Jazz virtuosos already.
Dennis Mario y Kobana Negra
Dennis Mario always gives a good, energetic show with a mixture of rhythms and humor. And when he’s on stage, expect the unexpected. But the highlight was the participation of Charlie Sepulveda (one of the best latin jazz trumpet players) and Puerto Rico traditional music group Mapeye.
The last act was Oscar Castro-Neves with a dream team band. Celebrating 50 years of Bossa Nova.
Don Gruisin – piano
Abraham Laboriel – bass
Alex Acuna – drums and percussion
Charlie Bisharat – violin
Gary Meek – sax ad flute
Most of the music played were from one of the fathers of Bossa Nova, Tom Jobim. Classics like Chovendo na Roseira, Agua de Beber, Aguas de Março, Triste, Corcovado.
Oscar Castro-Neves, an excellent guitar player, for this night had a nice surprise for us. The beautiful voice and presence of Katia Moraes.
I’ve heard Katia’s work with the band Sambaguru but it was the first time I heard Katia singing Bossa.
And I gotta tell you, she can do no wrong. She’s amazing singing either Samba or Bossa Nova. Her voice is sweet and powerful at the same time, and it was a perfect match and choice for this band.
It was a magical and enchanting way to end a perfect Jazz night.
Review by Wilbert Sostre
Jazz and Bossa