Shades of Jade

Summer Rapture

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Led by timbale player Bill Laster, Shades of Jade has a very melodic and lyrical Latin jazz outing in Summer Rapture, Vol. 2. The thing that gives this recording a sweeter, softer quality than the Latin jazz of Poncho Sanchez, Tito Puente or Mongo Santamaria is its charanga instrumentation (as opposed to tougher, harder conjunto instrumentation). In Afro-Cuban music, charanga bands are known for their use of flute and violin -- instruments that play a prominent role in Shades of Jade, whose participants include pianists Clare Fischer and Peggy Duquesnel, flutist Artie Webb, violinist Karen Briggs and bassist Al McKibbon. From Laster originals to Cal Tjader's cha-cha "Lucero" and a mambo version of McCoy Tyner's "Aisha," the charanga format serves Laster's band nicely. Not extraordinary but certainly decent, this obscure CD but is worth picking up if you come across a copy.

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