Afro Blue Band
Fantasy Warehouse Clearance Sale (series)
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sku: FAN 9237
- by Jerry Gonzalez ~ Crossroads ~ $13.48
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- Released: June 30, 1995
- Originally Released: 2001
- Label: Milestone
JazzTimes - 2/96, pp.78-79"...a unique collective of like-minded players....there is a sense of inter-connectedness....There's fire aplenty....obvious warmth achieved between players..."
- 2.Lonnie's Lament
- 3.Afro Blue
- 5.Latin Jazzdance
- 6.Senor Blues
- 7.For Pearl
- 8.The Phantom
Afro Blue Band: Nicole Yarling (vocals, violin); Mario Rivera (soprano & tenor saxophones, cornet, flute, timbales); Dave Liebman (soprano saxophone); Mel Martin (alto & tenor saxophones, piccolo, flute, alto flute, bass clarinet); Arthur Barron (alto & tenor saxophones, flute); Melton Mustafa (trumpet); Jerry Gonzalez (flugelhorn, congas, percussion); Papo Vasquez (trombone); Hilton Ruiz, Mark Levine (piano); Lionel Cole (synthesizer); Steve Neil (bass); Phoenix Rivera (drums); Steve Berrios (congas, clave, shekere, bell); Glen Cronkhite (cymbals, percussion).
Engineers: Mike Krowiak, Michael Fourens, Michael Semanick.
Recorded at RPM Studios, New York, New York in September 1994; Sterling Gold Studios, Fort Lauderdale, Florida in November & December 1994; Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, California in April 1995. Includes liner notes by Todd Barkan.
Personnel: Nicole Yarling (vocals, violin); Mel Martin (flute, alto flute, piccolo, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); Mario Rivera (flute, soprano saxophone, tenor saxophone, cornet, timbales); Arthur Barron (flute, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone); David Liebman (soprano saxophone); Melton Mustafa (trumpet); Jerry Gonzalez (flugelhorn, congas, percussion); Angel Papo Vasquez (trombone); Hilton Ruiz, Mark Levine (piano); Lionel Cole (synthesizer); Phoenix Rivera (drums); Steve Berrios (congas, claves, bells); Glenn Cronkhite (cymbals, percussion).
Liner Note Author: Todd Barkan.
Recording information: Fantasy Studios, Berkeley, CA (09/1994-04/1995); RPM Sound Studios, New York, NY (09/1994-04/1995); RPM Studio, New York, NY (09/1994-04/1995); Sterling Gold Stuidos, Ft. Lauderdale, FL (09/1994-04/1995).
Unknown Contributor Roles: Angel Papo Vasquez; David Liebman; Nicole Yarling; Phoenix Rivera; Hilton Ruiz; Glenn Cronkhite; Jerry Gonzalez; Mario Rivera; Mark Levine ; Mel Martin; Melton Mustafa; Papo Vasquez; Arthur Barron ; Steve Berrios; Steve Neil; Lionel Cole.
The Afro Blue Band is actually a series of bands drawn from a pool of 15 musicians under the overall direction of saxophonist/Miami nightclub owner Arthur Barron, who has pulled a series of mostly hot Latin jazz performances out of the mix. Barron appears on most of the tracks, his workaday tenor and alto sharing the spotlight with the more coherent, impassioned work of Mario Rivera on soprano, tenor, flute, and cornet, Dave Liebman's soprano, Melton Mustafa's trumpet, Papo Vasquez's trombone, and Mel Martin's assortment of wind instruments. The only consistent anchors of these bands are Phoenix Rivera (Mario's son) on drums and Steve Neil on bass, who cook throughout the frequent personnel changes. The pianist is usually Hilton Ruiz, spelled on a few tracks by Mark Levine -- and the tough conga work is often in the hands of Jerry Gonzales. With a boiling clutter of Gonzales' Afro-Cuban percussion work, the collection starts off on the right foot with a great rendition of the title track; it sounds a bit like what Coltrane might have done with the tune had he included it on his "Kulu Se Mama" session. The band's inspiration, "Afro Blue," is also very hot, with Mario reaching toward the edge at the close. Overall, the revolving personnel is this album's strength; the frequent changes of texture and style keeps things fresh and unpredictable. ~ Richard S. Ginell
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