20/11/2009

Nilo Espinosa - Shaken, Not Stirred (2007)

«Nilo Espinosa may not be the best-known player in jazz circles – or bossa nova, disco, funk, Latin soul, boogaloo, and rhumba – though he is one of the best at playing all of them (often in the same ensemble). Espinosa is a Peruvian sax and flute-playing legend who has been hard at it since 1959, when he was getting a conservatory education. In 1962 he made his debut with the Neptuno Orquesta, who played in a club underneath a movie theater in Lima. Not exactly an auspicious beginning, perhaps, but it was enough and he was able to do correspondence studies at the Berklee School of Music in Boston. From 1963 to 1965 he played in an established jazz group at the Astoria in Lima and began to formulate his own ideas for creating jazz ensembles to fit his mood and method. This 18-cut disc issued on the Vampisoul imprint (a label well-known for brilliant reissues and compilations of Latin jazz, Pachuco soul, bossa, funk, and lots of other stuff, including rock & roll, on vinyl and CD) is a fantastic overview of Espinosa's work with five of his own ensembles – Nil's Jazz Ensemble, Bossa 70, Los Hilton's, Los 007, Nilo Espinosa y Orquesta – and some guest spots. Most of the tunes here are from the 1970s, though there are a few from the late '60s, and given the technology of the time, the sound is not exactly modern digital. (But it will more than do.) The jazz-funk in the opener, "Reflexiones," is just killer with breakbeats, electric keyboards, and taut popping (fretted) electric basslines, all backing Espinosa's wide-open soprano saxophone work. The groove is deep, laid-back, funky, and in the pocket – 18 tracks of this stuff would have been just fine, but man, there is so much more.» (AMGread more)

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9 comments:

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