Brian Andres and the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel: "This Could Be That" (Bacalao) 2016
Rating: ***** (musical performance & sound quality)
Produced by Javier Cabanillas & Brian Andres
Recorded @ Studio Triology by Willie Samuels
Mixed by Christian Tumalan & Michael Lazarus
Mastered by Michael Lazarus
Photo: Ricardo Tellez
Graphic Design: Javier Cabanillas
This is not only our first "CD of the Month." It's also the first "CD of the Month" that certainly will appear in our Jazz Station Annual Poll as one of the best CDs of 2016.
A superb drummer, Andres offers a stunning and flawless album that leaves the listener breathless. It's a rhythmic storm, full of energy, intoxicating grooves and wondrous solos, starting with a powerful rendition of Jack Wilson's "Amyable," a lost gem originally recorded by the underrated composer-pianist on an album he did in 1963 for the Pacific Jazz label as a sideman with Curtis Amy & Dupree Bolton, titled "Katanga!"
Bassist Aaron Germain, pianist Christian Tumalan (heard on Rhodes on trombonist Jamie Dubberly's "Relativity") and the horn section shine throughout the album. Hermann Lara steals the scene during his baritone sax solo on his own "Algo Nuevecito."
There's an amazing version of Chick Corea's "Got A Match?" (with quotes of "Spain" and "Armando's Rhumba") which appeared on the first Elektric Band album and was composed as a tribute to the woodwind master Joe Farrell, who had recently passed away in January 1986.
There's a ballad break only for Brian Andres' reunion with his father, alto sax player Mike Andres, on the standard "My One And Only Love," treated as a bilingual bolero featuring Cuban-American vocalist Venissa Santi (a piece that his dad had recorded years ago with Cincinnati's Symphony Jazz Ensemble.) But the rest of the album puts the world on fire. A very hot and nice one, indeed.