Sonidos Nuevos

Damon Grant Project

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Sonidos Nuevos Review

by Evan C. Gutierrez

As the Afro-Cuban music tree stretches ever higher and farther, its roots creep in all directions searching for new resources to grow, for new talent. Damon Grant represents a generation of players that may just be the wellspring of new ideas that the genre is looking for. The music on Sonidos Nuevos presents a truly unique perspective, at times ponderous, at others aggressive and funky. With plenty of creative compositional ideas flying around, including dark mysterious harmony and polyrhythmic fun, there's no mistake about the creative potential in this band of young jazzers. The question that will occasionally creep up is, "Where is Damon Grant?" Taking turns behind the congas and mallets, the two instruments that are consistently the hardest to hear, and almost never taking a solo on either, Grant seems a little shy of the spotlight. Similarly, the only occasions when the Latin time feels really come together is when they are in the hands of guests Horacio Hernández and Richie Flores, Grant's regular rhythm section seeming to limp a little with the highly idiomatic Afro-Cuban styles. Grant is certainly an artist to watch, though Sonidos Nuevos offers more promise for the future than it delivers today.

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