Tag Archives: Latin

Ondatrópica – Ondatrópica (2012)

Ondatrópica - Ondatrópica (2012)

This has been on the pile to review for a long time. The reason being that only an album sampler was available on Spotify. I sneaked a couple of couple-of-second listens now and again and looked forward to the full album being released. It never came, so I decided to review the sampler.

Ondatrópica are a large collective, most of whom from Colombia, who wanted to expand on the musical heritage of Colombia and bring it to a wider audience.

If this sampler is anything to go by (and I guess that is the point of a sampler), then this album is great! Salsa rhythms meet ska, all very upbeat and uplifting, a real treat. Opener Tiene Sabor, Tiene Sazón is a salsa tour de force with fantastic horns and no matter how inept you are, you will be dancing around your living room at this one. The carnival spirit continues on Punkero Sonidero, which includes synth sweeps giving a more mysterious/proggy feel. Next up is a Latin take on Black Sabbath’s Iron Man; unusual yes, but a lot of fun! Suena is an unusual track, the Latin passion is still there, but the vocals make it sound altogether more modern and completely fresh. Pure ska is the dish of the day on Ska Fuentes; and a perfect example it is. 3 Reyes de la Terapia is a more dubby piece, using a vocal technique that I don’t know the name of but I have heard used on Anoushka Shankar’s Sinister Grains, it’s almost like an Eskimo katajjaq as both inhalation and exhalation are both used to vocalise; in doing so, it mimics a cuica, the strange percussion drum heard on Gainsbourg’s Bonnie and Clyde and Paul Simon’s Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard. Cumbia Espacial gives an upbeat jazzy end to the sampler, with a chord progression sounding like Del Shannon’s Runaway.

Overall, a disappointment only in the fact that this is a sampler and it is so good that I really want to hear the full album. Still worth the listen!

Favourite tracks: Suena, Tiene Sabor Tiene Sazón, Ska Fuentes

Spotify link: Ondatrópica – Ondatrópica (Album Sampler)
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Antonio Adolfo – Finus Misturas (2013)

Antonino Adolfo - Finus Misturas (2013)

Brazilian pianist, Antonio Adolfo adds a Latin flavour to some Jazz classics, along with a few original compositions. The title means “fine mixtures” and this is indeed a fine mixture.

Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Naima are treated reverently; there is a certain refinement to Adolfo’s working of Giant Steps, removing some of the rawness from the mix, dropping the frantic bebop rhythm in favour of a more-danceable Latin beat; whereas slow reflective Naima is made more upbeat with the addition of effective flute. Dizzy Gillespie’s Con Alma is again given the bossa nova make-over, with some fantastic electric guitar. Other tracks are Bill Evan’s Time to Remember (reworked as Time Remembered), Keith Jarrett’s Memories of Tomorrow is turned into a solemn piano–guitar duet, and Adolfo’s take on Chick Corea’s Crystal Silence once again utilises the flute to make the track, dare I say, better than the original, more focussed and grounded.

Among the originals, Baladas and Tres Meninos stand out, highlighting the Latin styles and brilliant tightness of the players.

It’s not going to change the jazz world, but this is a great album of originals and standards with caring reworking as Adolfo applies a Latin twist. So, if the cold weather is getting you down, this fine mixture could just warm up your night.

Favourite tracks: Tres Meninos, Crystal Silence, Giant Steps

Spotify link: Antonio Adolfo – Finas Misturas
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