Trumpeter Charlie Sepulveda has made quite a name for himself over the years championing the progression of the Latin jazz art form, not looking back, but ever pressing forward with creativity and vitality. His 2003 release, Feeling Good Again, takes turns both pushing the limits and celebrating the style's history. With compositions like the blues-cha cha "Home Cooking" and the smooth jazz title track, Sepulveda takes a look at his roots for the first time in his recording career. With renditions of Hilton Ruiz's "New Arrival" and the dark, churning rhumba "Caribeño," he maintains his reputation as a bandleader most at home on the cutting edge. New and talented players like conguero Paoli Mejias and saxophonist Ricardo Pons add visceral punch to Sepulveda's tight, expressive band sound. Feeling Good Again is perhaps a more balanced record than previous efforts, in which Sepulveda had a more cohesive, focused stylistic envelope to push. Offering both laid-back, mature musicality and aggressive, hard-line intensity, Sepulveda seems to be casting his net wider than ever before. Charlie Sepulveda has always flown slightly below the radar of big commercial success. This new broad focus just might change all that.
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AllMusic Review by Evan C. Gutierrez