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Rabshakeh

Your favourite Latin jazz records since the 1970s

75 posts in this topic

Inspired by the recent Your Favourite Jazz Records  of the 1980s? thread and by some really excellent looking postings recently on the So, What Are You Listening To Now? thread...

There's a fairly well-established and stable view on what constitutes the "canon" of Latin jazz (Afro-Cuban or Brazilian) records up to and including the salsa era.  After that though, the path is less clear, despite plenty of superb releases every decade.  I noticed that despite the number of very well informed fans of Latin music on this forum, we don't have a dedicated thread to Latin jazz from the period after the early 80s' "salsa drought".

So, what Latin jazz records recorded since 1979 would you be most happy to see washing up in a crate on your desert island? It can be any kind of Latin jazz from the Americas (i.e., bossa, cuban, tango, folkloric, samba, cumbia, salsa, etc.; but for the purposes of this thread, Americas only; not e.g. flamenco). If you feel it makes the grade, Latin music with enough of a jazz influence also qualifies, provided that it is recorded after 1979. Latin jazz from US musicians is also allowed in the interests of being ecumenical.

List as many albums as you want to. Images and descriptions welcome. 

To start things off, with some of my favourites: 

Jerry Gonzalez - Ya Yo Me Cure (1980)

Poncho Sanchez - Papa Gato (1986)

 Miguel Zenon - Esta Plena (2009)

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Posted (edited)

Well, this isn't easy because there's so much,
but off the top of my head...

ZL3Qjsj.jpg

2xnkllI.jpg

Jha9Ebj.jpg

FgZ0Jq8.jpg

Oh, heck - I'll throw this goody in there too.
It reminds me of the time when I went with the late
guitarist/violinist/cornet player Daniel Scanlan to
see Blades live.

Eq4B7ne.jpg

Edited by rostasi

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I've always listened to Latin music outside of the jazz idiom, so I don't really have any to name but will be paying attention to the thread for suggestions. 

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Alexey Marti, Mundoalexey-marti-mundo-300x271.jpg

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Great idea for a thread, Rab! :tup 

A few of my faves:

81KDKBrfBWL._SS500_.jpg

Bobby Sanabria Big Band - Afro-Cuban Dream ... Live & In Clave!!! (Arabesque)

 

31FbanzgVEL.jpg

Chico O'Farrill - Carambola (Milestone)

 

61Z-ovbpPAL._SS500_.jpg

Arturo O'Farrill and the Chico O'Farrill Afro Cuban Jazz Band - Final Night at Birdland (Zoho)
 

81YE2mR8EZL._SS500_.jpg

Michael Philip Mossman - The Orisha Suite (Connector Music)

 

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A few more:

R-4790057-1375615595-2185.jpeg.jpg

Ray Barretto - My Summertime (Owl/Blue Note)

 

R-12200483-1594395401-3092.jpeg.jpg

Ray Mantilla & the New Space Station - Man-Ti-Ya (Savant)

 

51iQu-v4APL._SX500_.jpg

Bill O'Connell + The Latin Jazz All-Stars - Zócalo (Savant)

 

71AyztGvszL._SL507_.jpg

Mark Weinstein - Latin Jazz Underground (Zoho)

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5 hours ago, rostasi said:

 

2xnkllI.jpg

❤❤❤ !!!

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1 hour ago, HutchFan said:

A few more:

R-4790057-1375615595-2185.jpeg.jpg

Ray Barretto - My Summertime (Owl/Blue Note)

 

R-12200483-1594395401-3092.jpeg.jpg

Ray Mantilla & the New Space Station - Man-Ti-Ya (Savant)

 

51iQu-v4APL._SX500_.jpg

Bill O'Connell + The Latin Jazz All-Stars - Zócalo (Savant)

 

71AyztGvszL._SL507_.jpg

Mark Weinstein - Latin Jazz Underground (Zoho)

I didn't think I would own much that features in this thread but I do have that Weinstein and rate it very highly.

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All of these feature the amazing Brazilian drummer Duduka Da Fonseca:

51qNyWxmSoL.jpg

Trio da Paz - Partido Out (Malandro)

 

91f69oTAFrL._SS500_.jpg

Brazilian Trio - Constelação (Motema)

 

71WOOuuX3pL._SS500_.jpg

Duduka Da Fonseca - Samba Jazz Fantasia (Anzic)

 

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Is Brazilian the same as Latin?

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14 hours ago, Milestones said:

R-2940385-1533560815-1958.jpeg.jpg

Excellent ....

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2 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Is Brazilian the same as Latin?

In my mind, the term "Latin Jazz" includes Brazilian jazz as a sub-category -- forms like samba jazz & bossa nova.  That's because Brazilian musical forms are yet another musical derivation of the African diaspora resulting from slavery.  It's just a different manifestation of the same root.

That said, most people associate "Latin Jazz" with Afro-Cuban traditions. Probably because of Cuba's proximity to the U.S. -- and because the earliest Latin Jazz "fusions" were Afro-Cuban music with African-American jazz; i.e., Dizzy and Chano Pozo. 

But Afro-Cuban jazz is just one of the many jazz manifestations in Latin America.

 

  

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I get the point about the diaspora, but, for starters, Spanish and Portugese speak differently, and that feeds into things like phrasing and timbre. The linguistics of music.

For that matter, Cuban Spanish is a whole different language in terms of sound, seriously. You can speak Spanish well enough, but if you've not heard Cuban Spanish...whoa

Not to get to dark about it, but also...colonial slavery was practiced differently in North America than in South America, and really different in the United States...but this is not a criminal trial.

The African Diaspora is not to be taken lightly and cannot be overestimated in its still-continuing effect on global culture, but...Airto & Chano Pozo...branches of the same tree, perhaps. But you know, there are trees that are individual trees above ground but share a common root system underground. That's how I look at this, different trees with common roots.

The OG mentioned cumbia...Columbian-rooted source that became pop music that made its way north to become the dominant for in Mexican pop music for a good while. Hell, I was playing in a cumbia band in 1979, had no idea what it was until Eddie Palmieri did that thing on his Columbia record, and then I had to start digging. But to be honest, looking at Cumbia as "African Diaspora" might take more convincing research than what I've did. It's a trifecta - Indigenous people, Diaspora people, and colonia travelers, all ending up putting down roots. And THEN the games began.

Point just being....language (aural), regional histories (over the centuries), cultural clashes and meldings, all that extra-musical stuff that forges the musical end results, "Latin Jazz" is at best an umbrella term, and as generally used today, I think it was more interesting - for the most part - before it became all codified and shit. Name it and claim it, if you know what I mean. It's a Grammy category now!

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Screenshot-2021-04-19-170211.jpg

A "must have" for sure ....

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Posted (edited)

27 minutes ago, JSngry said:

I get the point about the diaspora, but, for starters, Spanish and Portugese speak differently, and that feeds into things like phrasing and timbre. The linguistics of music.

For that matter, Cuban Spanish is a whole different language in terms of sound, seriously. You can speak Spanish well enough, but if you've not heard Cuban Spanish...whoa

Not to get to dark about it, but also...colonial slavery was practiced differently in North America than in South America, and really different in the United States...but this is not a criminal trial.

The African Diaspora is not to be taken lightly and cannot be overestimated in its still-continuing effect on global culture, but...Airto & Chano Pozo...branches of the same tree, perhaps. But you know, there are trees that are individual trees above ground but share a common root system underground. That's how I look at this, different trees with common roots.

The OG mentioned cumbia...Columbian-rooted source that became pop music that made its way north to become the dominant for in Mexican pop music for a good while. Hell, I was playing in a cumbia band in 1979, had no idea what it was until Eddie Palmieri did that thing on his Columbia record, and then I had to start digging. But to be honest, looking at Cumbia as "African Diaspora" might take more convincing research than what I've did. It's a trifecta - Indigenous people, Diaspora people, and colonia travelers, all ending up putting down roots. And THEN the games began.

Point just being....language (aural), regional histories (over the centuries), cultural clashes and meldings, all that extra-musical stuff that forges the musical end results, "Latin Jazz" is at best an umbrella term, and as generally used today, I think it was more interesting - for the most part - before it became all codified and shit. Name it and claim it, if you know what I mean. It's a Grammy category now!

No disagreement on anything you say, Jim.  I don't mean to oversimplify or imply that all the various Latin American jazz variants are the same.  No way.  You are absolutely right to point out that the linguistic differences between Spanish and Portuguese alone have huge implications -- especially in terms of rhythm. 

All I was saying was that Brazilian jazz -- in my mind -- falls under the same big "Latin Jazz" umbrella as the more familiar manifestations like Afro-Cuban jazz.  And Latin Jazz itself falls under the even bigger umbrella of "Jazz."  In other words, from my point of view, "Latin Jazz" is "Jazz."

Of course, all of this is just semantics, generalizations that help us understand the particulars.  And that's where the real action is, right?  For example, Airto rocks my world, but Nana Vasconcelos doesn't (for the most part).  They're both Brazilian percussionists.  But, to your point, "Brazilian percussionist" is just a category.  The real interest happens when we get to the level of artists practicing the particulars of their artistry.  Sure, the context helps us understand where Airto and Nana are coming from.  But it ain't the thing itself.

***********

One last thought that reinforces the "off-to-the-side-ness" of Brazilian jazz compared to other Latin American jazz forms like Afro-Cuban jazz.  I was reading an interview with someone -- one of the musicians in the Puerto Rican band Batacumbele -- and he was working with the Smithsonian to put together a compilation of "Latin Jazz."  He said that the committee was having a difficult time with Brazilian forms -- precisely because the rhythms were so different.  The clave rhythm that is so central to Afro-Cuban and many (most?) other Latin Jazz forms is not a thing in Brazilian jazz.  As a result, they were going to include the Brazilian jazz on a separate disc.  I don't want to make too much of this.  Because, again, it's just categorization.  But, to me, this "difficulty" that he was describing only reinforces the point that Brazilian Jazz is Latin Jazz -- but it's also something different.

 

 

 

31 minutes ago, soulpope said:

Screenshot-2021-04-19-170211.jpg

A "must have" for sure ....

Yes!!!  This is one of those instances where an "All Star" assemblage actually WORKS.

 

Edited by HutchFan

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Clave is basic, fundamental. Took me a while to fully digest this, and probably still haven't, it not being my native tongue. But playing the music, I came to get some insight into who phrases from the clave and who doesn't. That's when I realized that you don't just play be-bop licks and call it "Latin" anything. It's more subtle (and therefore, deeply rooted) than doing just that.

Which is not to say that you can't play bebop licks over a clave beat and have a groovy time, sure you can. But....there is a difference, and once you get into Name It & Claim It Land...people can't be faulted for being protective of what is theirs, because the implications for the future are infinite.

Everybody wants what they like, but liking it/sharing it, and taking it away are two different things, right?

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With regards to the above discussion, I agree that “Latin jazz” is obviously not the music world’s best piece of terminology. I chose to use it for the thread because I hoped to hear about a wide range of music that I didn’t know about in the responses. The alternative would have been to have two separate threads for afro-cuban records and bossa/samba records (which I think are probably the two primary sources of what most people picking Grammy category award winners understand by the term) would be too restrictive and likely to lead to discussions on what qualified and what doesn’t. Hence “Latin jazz”. 

As to the diaspora point, there is a reason why samba and afro-cuban rhythms are what most people think about when they hear the term “latin jazz”, whereas mariachi is not. But, despite that, If anyone happens to know of some mariachi fusion or razor sharp Norteno accordion jazz, I would be interested to know about it too, to be honest

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3 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

 razor sharp Norteno accordion jazz

Steve Jordan close enough?

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4 minutes ago, JSngry said:

Steve Jordan close enough?

I just had a bewildered couple of minutes before I realised there are two different Steve Jordans. One of whom does not play accordion.

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Yeah, not that one, the other one. :g

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Posted (edited)

20 minutes ago, JSngry said:

That's when I realized that you don't just play be-bop licks and call it "Latin" anything. It's more subtle (and therefore, deeply rooted) than doing just that.

Which is not to say that you can't play bebop licks over a clave beat and have a groovy time, sure you can.

Not so much with clave, but this does describe quite a few of my favourite bossa records from the 1960s. There’s a rich tradition of ersatz bossa from all ends of the US jazz world. 

Edited by Rabshakeh

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Posted (edited)

18 minutes ago, Rabshakeh said:

With regards to the above discussion, I agree that “Latin jazz” is obviously not the music world’s best piece of terminology.

The term "Latin Jazz" isn't perfect, and -- as many have remarked -- the term "Jazz" isn't either!  There are all sorts of problems with both terms.  And that's a good reason not to get too "wrapped around the axle" with either of them.  I just try to use them for what for what they're good for -- like this thread, this discussion -- and ignore the rest!  ;) 

 

Edited by HutchFan

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