The Changing World Of Latin Jazz
Trumpet - When many people think about Latin Jazz, a salsa dance party comes up, with hot dance rhythms charging behind jazz harmonies and improvised solos. This is actually one aspect of this style - musicians like Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader, and Ray Barretto have gotten people around the dance floor for a long time with jazz and Cuban rhythms.
Dance rhythms certainly hold a place in modern Latin Jazz, however a growing variety of artists have abandoned the party area for different cultural and artistic influences. These days, many Latin Jazz musicians integrate rhythmic traditions from a broader spectrum of the Caribbean and Latin america, often blending cultural elements with modern jazz influences.
Jazz - Traditional Afro-Peruvian rhythms have played a large part inside the expansion of Latin Jazz, bringing rhythmic styles just like the festejo and landó in to the style also a far more guitar heavy approach. Guitarist Richie Zellon has combined these traditions with jazz harmonies extensively while trumpet player Gabriel Alegria has evolved an exceptional approach with his Afro-Peruvian Sextet.
While stateside Latin Jazz always carried a Puerto Rican influence, it's only been that artists have put a distinct emphasis upon the idea of traditional rhythms like bomba and plena supporting jazz contexts. Trombonist Papo Vazquez provides his ferocious command of bebop over Puerto Rican rhythms while saxophonist Miguel Zenón has dived deep into plena and classic Puerto Rican songs as a foundation for jazz.
Argentina has long been known for it's passionate tango, and several musicians have discovered this music can be a natural fit for jazz. Bassist Pablo Aslan has built a definite language for improvising around tango structures while pianist Pablo Ziegler continues the work of influential composer Astor Piazzolla with a distinct jazz twist.
Listeners often think about the lush bossa novas of Antonio Carlos Jobim after they consider the mixture of Brazilian rhythms and jazz, but the style has exploded into something much more dynamic. Pianist Jovino Santos Neto has produced upon his long tenure with composer Hermeto Pascoal and designed a highly creative repertoire of original Brazilian jazz while drummer Duduka Da Fonseca has blended the freedom behind a fresh York jazz sensibility with dynamic samba rhythms.
Jazz - The dance floor is unquestionably still a part of Latin Jazz - just hear the music of Poncho Sanchez or Pete Escovedo for a healthy dose of danceable jazz. The design and style has certainly expanded artistically, reflecting an even more encompassing spectrum of Latin traditions and providing listeners an even more diverse experience.