Not all great Latin-jazz bands are from Cuba or Puerto Rico; this one hails from Colombia, co-led by trombonist/guitarist/bassist Alexis Lozano and pianist Israel Tenenbaum, with music composed by Nino Caicedo. Guayacan is a ten-piece act of brass, percussion, and vocals, with many extras in all three sections to make them sound even larger. Papo Lucca guests on piano, and he presumably plays the hottest three solos, while Carlos Sanchez, Mauricio Guerrero, and Carlos Brito lead the singing. Danny Jimenez is the head trumpeter, while Luis Pacheco and Jimmy Delgado join Guayacan's percussion regulars Wilson Viveros, Denilson Ibarguen, and Welsare Aguilar. Jaime Henao is the regular second pianist. The consistency of Guayacan is most noticeable; the majority of these tunes are midtempo danzones. They build happy music in a unified collective effort, structured but no less ebulliently expressed. Simpler horns and a quote from "America" crops up during "Medellin, Medellin," while the sparse horn lines get more play on "Tu Me Haces Feliz"; both include potent piano solos. Group vocals are prevalent for the clave, mambo-type love song "Cuanto Te Quiero," and for the bright, horn-accented tale of "Senora Mia." More songs on the danceable side are "Por un Beso/Because of One Kiss" and "Si Tu No Estas," and "A Vesces" features an accordion solo. The hottest tune, "Mi Billete/Bill Me," has the richest melody with a lot of counterpoint between the vocalists, montuno piano, and instrumentalists. A loaded horn chart for "Pau Pau" makes for the best true Latin-jazz-son combination, while the instrumental "Almendra/Almond," written by Abelardo Valdez, is a trumpet-led, patient chart with another deft piano solo. The album's title translates as "Making the Difference," and its meaning is clearly illustrated, listening to Guayacan do their thing on this delightful recording.
AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos