The most influential non-Latin figure in Latin jazz is paid respectful homage by another non-Latin vibraphonist of note, Spyro Gyra's Dave Samuels, who put together a heavyweight ensemble of Latin jazz stars for the job.Still, this is a pleasant, intelligent Latin jazz outing by and large, graced by the presence of Eddie Palmieri on piano, Dave Valentin on flute, David Sanchez on tenor, Ray Barretto on congas, and Steve Khan on acoustic guitar. And it might persuade Spyro Gyra fans to investigate the real deal.
Dave Samuels' release offers music that is often more pleasant than it is challenging, but Samuels has an original voice on the marimbas and vibes, the groove tunes are generally quite enjoyable (particularly the calypso "Cara Linda" and the tricky "Knots"), and the leader's solos are uniformly strong. With the help of the Yellowjackets' rhythm section (keyboardist Russell Ferrante, electric bassist Jimmy Haslip and drummer William Kennedy) and some guests, this pop/jazz effort is reasonably satisfying and one of Dave Samuels' best solo sets.
Having displayed a knack in the past for reinterpreting both pop and jazz tunes, jazz vocalist Diane Schuur once again succeeds in bringing together an unexpected mix of compositions on Schuur Fire. Featuring the Caribbean Jazz Project, the album finds Schuur's clarion vocals melding nicely with vibist Dave Samuels' superb Latin jazz ensemble – especially trumpeter Diego Urcola, who takes some tasty solos throughout.
This CD exposes the listener to the various aspects of caribbean music and is a learning tool to discover what the various cultural influences from around the world have had on caribbean culture,and guess what?This CD is just the tip of the iceberg as far as caribbean music is concerned,because there are many more styles of caribbean music out there just waiting to be discovered.
”Huellas” tastes like Jazz and flamenco winds, it is full of freshness and vitality, and somehow, brings together leading composer with the distilled and concentrated Flamenco essence. An overview of this art seen from the outside to inside and from inside out. A flamenco feeling between the sound of a jazz band. A vision of improvisation with new references. Meeting and dispersion at the same compass. An execution for those who feel, breathe and know these fundamentals, which are none others than the deepest soul where there is no time or place.
This album has an extremly lively blend of streight ahead jazz and tropical island sounds. The playing is top notch and tight. While the rhythm section keeps the grooves mellow and movin' the rest of the band can get your head spinnin' with blazin' runs and wicked sincopation.
In 1990, the GRP record label took over MCA’s jazz artists, and as a result, Spyro Gyra had changed labels. Their next effort, Fast Forward, was released on GRP. After the release of Three Wishes in 1992, Spyro Gyra recruited Scott Ambush on bass. The following year, Dave Samuels decided to leave the band, although he periodically contributed to subsequent studio recordings. In 1997, Spyro Gyra celebrated their twentieth album release in 20 years with 20/20.Despite the ever-changing lineup, Beckenstein remained committed to the project over the years, as did their audiences.
Valentin's Concord debut, Sunshower , is the first recording under the flautist's name since 1996's Primitive Passions. Like many of the 18 albums he recorded for GRP between 1979 and 1996, Valentin here weds jazz, pop and r & b with his own particular blend of smooth Latin sounds. In essence, the man knows how to craft a purely pleasurable listening experience.