Cedar Walton

Latin Tinge

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A solid but not outstanding Latin jazz session led by hard bop stalwart Cedar Walton, 2002's Latin Tinge mixes standards with a small handful of originals. Unusually for this time of session, it's the originals that shine, particularly the funky "Latin America." Part of the problem is that Walton chose a couple of real warhorses among his standards; it's difficult for "Perfidia" and "Besame Mucho" not to sound a little corny, frankly, although Walton and his small combo don't embarrass themselves. They do better with the Xavier Cugat standard "Brazil" and a surprisingly peppy take on Antonio Carlos Jobim's samba classic "Triste." Walton's piano is at the forefront of these relatively unadorned settings, taking most of the solos as a pair of Latin percussionists sets up a series of percolating, polyrhythmic grooves. Low-key without being low-energy, Latin Tinge fulfills the minor goals it sets for itself.

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