Caribbean Jazz Project

Here and Now: Live in Concert

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Led by vibraphone and marimba ace (and ex-Spyro Gyra member) Dave Samuels, the Caribbean Jazz Project has undergone an almost steady shift of members in its decade-long existence, but the rotation of personnel has had no effect on the group's smooth as silk approach to Latin jazz. After six studio albums, CJP finally gets to shine on a live set, recorded over three nights in March 2004 at Pittsburgh's Manchester Craftsman's Guild, and the lineup this time around features Samuels on vibes and marimba, Diego Urcola on trumpet and fl├╝gelhorn, Robert Quintero on conga and percussion, Mark Walker on drums, Dario Eskenazi on piano, and Oscar Stagnaro on bass. Live, the group has a little bit more step and punch to its sound, and gets to stretch past the ten-minute mark on several cuts, but nothing here will startle longtime fans. Highlights include covers of John Coltrane's "Naima," an energetic rendition of Duke Ellington's ubiquitous "Caravan," and an interesting rearrangement of Thelonious Monk's "Bemsha Swing."

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