Alto saxophonist Oscar Feldman's tribute to his heroes and direct family members manifests itself in a cornucopia of Latin American musics welded onto the distinct sounds of modern jazz. Where this music is all over the Southern Hemisphere, it's rooted in the infectious rhythms of the Spanish language, at times with a symphonic base, at others in happy celebration for the natural gifts of pure musicianship. Feldman is surrounded by great New York City-based jazz players such as fellow saxophonist Mark Turner, trumpeter Diego Urcola, John Benítez or Pablo Aslan on bass, the exceptional pianist Manuel Valera, drummer Antonio Sanchez, and percussionist Pernell Saturnino -- as great a band as you'll find anywhere, anytime. The leader wrote half of these vibrant compositions, with the rest coming from heavyweight sources like Wayne Shorter, Astor Piazzolla, Guillermo Klein, and Hermeto Pascoal. Of the originals, "Mrs. Tangoholic" is a load of funky fun with psychedelic beginnings leading to the horns jamming in a more Afro-Cuban than Argentinian style. Where "The Improvisers" reflects an American R&B chart in 7/8 time, "So Tenderlee" is an out-and-out jazz swinger dedicated to Lee Konitz, with Feldman's dry alto as the straw stirring the drink. Other offerings include a peppy version of Shorter's usually subterranean "Children of the Night"; the title track, from Pascoal's pen, in a pensive to moderate cha cha; Piazzolla's rich and exotic "Triunfal" with Tito Castro on bandoneon; and Klein's hip and passionate modal "Minotauro." This is the kind of recording you'll want to play repeatedly not only to catch all the more subtle nuances, but to drink in the power of Feldman's multicultural concept, an exceptional album that should bring immediate dividends and stand the test of time.
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AllMusic Review by Michael G. Nastos