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Afro-Cuban Latin Jazz Project: Encuentro

From the album opener “The Flight” to the title track, it is more than evident that pianist and composer (and co-producer) Gustavo Ramírez is fully committed to reviving the jazz-fusion era, but this time chock full of Afro-Cuban-isms in this pastiche of textures, breaks and groovy chords.

Encuentro (meaning “encounter”) embraces the marriage of Cuban music to one of jazz’s more recent offspring, and showcases the extraordinarily percussive nature of this union. Drummer and co-producer Raúl Pineda (known for his work with piano great Chucho Valdés) gets his ultimate groove on alongside the stellar talents of Ramírez, guest saxophonist Bob Mintzer, guitarist Dany Labana, percussionist/vocalist Jesús Diaz (featured on the powerful closer “Aquellas Gaviotas”) and bassist Juan Carlos Portillo, with keyboardist Nachito Herrera appearing on one track.

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