Review: Zarabande – EL TORO

Zarabande – EL TORO:  There are few “old katz” as privileged as I am… I’m referring, of course, to all the splendid music I get to listen to… & it’s not rooted in genre, or tied down to any specific style… just HIGH-energy music that will revive any spirit for the duration!  & that’s certainly what marimba master Alfred Flores has put together here… just listen to the dow-un & funky “The Painful Truth“, and you’ll hear what I’m raving about!  Decidedly Latin in flavor, Alfred is joined by Joe Capioe (vibes, percussion), Mark Little (piano), Pete Ojeda (bass) and Dean Macomber (drums), in a nine-song session that will thrill all Latin-jazz lovers to the marrow!

I just loved Mark’s piano on “Judah Memphis“, and all the other players are in celebration mode on this one, too.  What needs to be said about this grouping is that they have their OWN (very distinctive) Latin style, totally original and fresh at the same time!

Out of the nine all-original compositions, it was the 8:28 “Zarabande” that got my vote for personal favorite, no doubt… & not just because it’s the longest cut on the album… what’s in play here is some of the coolest jazz you’ll ever hear, with very strong roots in African music, and I can guarantee you will be hitting “replay” on many of the tracks as you go through your day.  I give Alfred and his players a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, with an “EQ” (energy quotient) rating of 4.98.  You can get more information on the Zarabande website.              Rotcod Zzaj

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Dick Metcalf (aka Rotcod Zzaj) is a globe-hopping musician and poet who spent many years roving the world until he finally settled in his current abode, Lacey, Washington… just down the road from Seattle. He started IMPROVIJAZZATION NATION magazine in 1990 (still being published), and Contemporary Fusion Reviews magazine in 2016. He also was a keyboard player & singer for many years… you can hear (and download for free) most of those works at his “Internet Archive Collection