JazzTimes - 6/97, p.106
"...In addition to the three principals' acute improvisational abilities, each contributed compositions....one of the hippest Latin jazz outings in recent memory..."
Personnel: Paquito d'Rivera (clarinet, soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); Dario Eskenazi (piano); Dave Samuels (vibraphone, marimba); Mark Walker (drums); Pernell Saturnino (congas, percussion); Andy Narell (steel pan).
Audio Mixers: David Luke; Paquito d'Rivera; Andy Narell; Dave Samuels.
Recording information: BearTracks, Suffern, NY (09/1996).
Illustrator: Donald Baker.
Photographer: Deborah Feingold.
The second recording by this co-op group (which has three leaders in steel drummer Andy Narell, Dave Samuels on marimba and vibes and Paquito D'Rivera tripling on alto, clarinet and soprano) crosses a lot of boundaries. Designed as a musical tour through Latin America, the music ranges from a tribute to Cal Tjader and Astor Piazzolla's "Libertango" to "Andalucia" (better known as "The Breeze and I") and "Bluellespie" (which fuses together parts of several Dizzy Gillespie-associated songs). The blend between the vibes and steel drums is unique, the rhythm section (pianist Dario Eskenazi, bassist Oscar Stagnaro, drummer Mark Walker and percussionist Pernell Saturnino) is versatile and exciting, and D'Rivera's soprano playing in particular is impressive. Easily recommended to all jazz listeners. ~ Scott Yanow