Caribbean Jazz Project crafted their first recordings on Heads
Up International in the 1990s and immediately captured the imagination
of audiences and critics worldwide. In the years since, a few
of the faces in the group's roster have changed. Nevertheless,
Samuels and company continue to explore and test the commonly
accepted boundaries of Latin jazz - and jazz in general - via
innovative compositions and exciting arrangements. This is the
Caribbean Jazz Project's first Latin GRAMMY® Award for Heads
Up. The group also won a GRAMMY® Award in 2003.
says, "What a great honor to be recognized by your peers.
Keep music alive!"
am excited about the Caribbean Jazz Project winning their second
GRAMMY® Award for Best Latin Jazz Album," says Dave
Love, President of Heads Up International. "I've been working
with Dave Samuels and the Caribbean Jazz Project since their
inception in 1995, and I'm thrilled to reunite with them after
all these years."
Latin Recording Academy is a membership-based organization comprised
of recording artists, musicians, producers and other creative
and technical recording professionals who are dedicated to improving
the quality of life and cultural conditions for Latin music
and its makers. In addition to producing the Latin GRAMMY®
Awards to honor excellence in the recording arts and sciences,
the Latin Recording Academy provides educational and human services
programs to the Latin music community.
For Immediate Release For more information, please contact:
Mike Wilpizeski at 718-459-2117
Tour Publicity: Kelly Johanns-DiCillo at 216-765-7381 ext. 247
JOINS THE AFRO BOP ALLIANCE
IN A POWERFUL LATIN JAZZ COLLABORATION
Recording Features Big Band Arrangements
Of Classic CJP Tracks
Caribbean Jazz Project, the Latin jazz collective of vibraphonist
David Samuels, steel pan drummer Andy Narell and saxophonist
Paquito d'Rivera, crafted their first recordings on Heads Up
International in the 1990s and immediately captured the imagination
of audiences and critics worldwide. In the years since, the
GRAMMY Award winning ensemble CJP led by Samuels has recorded
subsequent albums on the Concord label and a few of the faces
in the group's roster have changed. Nevertheless, Samuels and
company continue to explore and test the commonly accepted boundaries
of Latin jazz - and jazz in general - via innovative compositions
and exciting arrangements.
Caribbean Jazz Project-Afro Bop Alliance, set for worldwide
release on Heads Up International (HUCD 3137) on March 25, 2008,
recasts nine CJP signature pieces - some by Samuels and others
by Coltrane, Monk and other jazz luminaries - in a fresh new
light via full-bodied arrangements by the Maryland-based Afro
Bop Alliance, one of the most exciting new bands on the Latin
jazz scene today. Since their inception less than five years
ago, the brassy and high-energy Afro Bop Alliance has electrified
audiences at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, the
Smithsonian Jazz Café, The W. C. Handy Jazz Festival
and many other music and cultural festivals.
genesis of the project was more organic than top-down conceptual,
says Samuels, who first encountered the Afro Bop Alliance a
few years ago and enlisted trombonist Dan Drew to rearrange
some CJP tunes originally written for the small group setting.
"Dan very cleverly and artfully took these songs and orchestrated
them for big band," says Samuels. "Then I thought,
'Why don't we try to record this and see what happens?' So the
whole idea evolved from the music outward, as opposed to the
concept coming before the music."
results were eye-opening, even for the musician who composed
the original pieces. "Repackaging something that had been
played a lot in a smaller group was a way to see it and hear
it in a new light," says Samuels. "You react differently
to it. It's a different ball game. It's the difference between
playing on a five-man team and a fifteen-man team. And if you're
the listener, you may have heard these tunes with the small
group, but it's a completely different experience hearing it
with this big band."
set opens with light-hearted and energetic "Rendezvous,"
a composition penned by Samuels that originally appeared on
The Gathering (2002). The Afro Bop horns bring a level of energy
that complements yet never crowds the CJP rhythm section of
bassist Max Murray drummer Joe McCarthy and percussionist Roberto
followup track is a breezy but solid rendition of Coltrane's
classic "Naima," with a horn and vibe counterpoint
that moves the piece along toward a coda that eventually stretches
the limits of melody and percussion to the limits of tonality
in, "Picture Frame" showcases Samuel's vibe virtuosity
from the opening measures, positioning him in the midst of a
luscious horn arrangement that maximizes the potential of both
the final stretch, "Afro Green" opens with a mysterious
sounding marimba/percussion mix that underscores a majestic
horn arrangement, then segues into a more traditional jazz groove.
The closer is an intriguing rendition of Monk's well-known "Bemsha
Swing" that - like "Naima" several tracks earlier
- takes the jazz classic beyond its traditional moorings into
a more experimental realm.
the Caribbean Jazz Project - Afro Bop Alliance clearly reaches
for the bigger sound, none of the original CJP nuance or subtlety
is lost in the more layered and elaborate big band context.
Their trademark groove is just as edgy and innovative as earlier
incarnations - perhaps more so in many respects.
level of creativity is not defined by the borders or the lack
of borders," says Samuels. "The creativity comes in
the vocabulary of the artists who are playing the music. You
create music not by reading the notes on the page, but rather
by reinterpreting the notes and giving them an emotional quality
- just like an actor does with lines of dialogue. The process
of keeping the notes alive comes from the musician imbuing them
with some kind of emotion, some kind of attitude, something
that is evocative and personal."
the alliance. The Caribbean Jazz Project is on the move, and
the direction is always forward.