Papo Vazquez


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While his heart lies in what is commonly known as Latin jazz, Papo Vazquez's solos on trombone are squarely within the tradition of hard bop. Part of this can be attributed to Papo's early studies with Slide Hampton and his exposure to J.J. Johnson and the young John Coltrane. The influences show, and while Papo might not have mastered the advanced techniques of some of his colleagues, his own brand of tough blowing is well suited to the kind of Latin sounds that he prefers. Lest anyone think that he cannot hold his own in a straight jazz setting, the Van Heusen-Mercer standard, "I Thought About You" and Neil Hefti's "Girl Talk" are added to the mix. Papo is joined in the front line by tenor saxophonist Mario Rivera, and by a strong rhythm section featuring Steve Berrios and Milton Cardona. The excellent solos should satisfy hard core jazz fans, while the vocals, heavy emphasis on percussion, danceable tunes, and Latin flavor do not compromise roots.

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