Jeff Niess


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Evolution Review

by Scott Yanow

On first listen, this Afro-Cuban jazz band is reminiscent of Cal Tjader's band. However vibraphonist Jeff Niess' combos are a little more modern while being connected to the tradition of Latinized bebop. Niess' three originals and two by bassist Abiud Troche are full of spirit and catchy rhythms, as are their interpretations of "Bluesette," "Take Five," "Jordu" and a song apiece from Cachao and Tito Puente. While there are solo spots for the percussionists, flutes and pianists, Niess' vibes hold the music together and give it its own personality. The performances are concise and seem to be the optimal length for each number. Jeff Niess, who has primarily worked in the studios for the past 20 years, deserves to be better known in the world of Latin jazz. Recommended.

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