Wednesday, March 6, 2019

The Cuban Latin Jazz – Juntos Por Siempre (2019)

The Cuban Latin Jazz

Roland Abrau - bass
Taras Bakovskyi - saxophone
Paweł Kukuła - piano
Dominik Jaske - drums

Juntos Por Siempre

V 015



By Adam Baruch

This is the debut album by the international Jazz quartet called The Cuban Latin Jazz, which comprises of Cuban bassist/composer Roland Abreu, Ukrainian saxophonist Taras Bakovskyi and Polish pianist Paweł Kukuła and drummer Dominik Jaske. Two additional renowned Cuban percussionists also participate in the recording. The album presents six compositions, three of which were composed by Abreu, one was co-composed by Abreu and Bakovskyi and the remaining two are by famous Cuban musicians/composers. The music is wonderfully recorded and offers a splendid sound quality, which enhances the listening experience considerably.

The music is exactly what one might expect from the quartet's name – an energetic display of Cuban Jazz, which sounds as original as they come. The surprising element is of course the fact that three quarters of the quartet are East Europeans, who certainly were not born with the Latin ingredient in their Cultural heritage, but manage to sound convincing enough to fool most of the listeners. Of course a more trained ear will discover that the music is slightly less passionate, wild and sensuous than the original Cuban Jazz, but on the other hand it might as well be for the best. Who needs another Cuban Jazz imitation? These young musicians manage to paint the Cuban character with the lyricism of Eastern European music, which is most evident in the playing of Kukula, who is the most ingenious musician in the quartet.

Albums of this kind prove that cross-cultural experiments in Jazz work well, as much as one doest not have to be born Polish to love pierogi. Amazingly at times musicians not born into a certain cultural background are able to absorb and emulate it more authentically than those who were.

Overall this is a splendid album from start to finish, and considering that Cuban music is always danceable, even in its most Jazzy form, the music simply does not allow the listener to sit still and not move his (and especially hers) butt, bringing on an orgy of energy and good mood. Subtle musical accents arriving from beyond the Cuban environment are present as well, adding some highly aesthetic spicing to the salsa on the table! Enjoy!

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