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Gabriel Rodriguez: The Beginning

Bass guitarist Rodriguez composed all eight tunes on this Latin jazz release. He writes intricate, busy tunes. The high-energy opener, “La Guagua,” sets the pace for what follows. You can hear the Santana influence on “First Step” and there’s a funky edge to “Willy’s Tune,” with the biting alto sax of Miguel Zenon, and Rodriguez playing piccolo bass guitar. “Introspection” is the only slow number. Drummer Francisco Rosario, conguero David Ortz, and bongocero Raul Maldonado provide aggressive percussion.

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