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Jinga Quintet: A Day Gone By

The Jinga Quintet’s A Day Gone By (Fresh Sound World Jazz) is as tastefully intriguing and slyly hot as Japanese dried fish and red pepper otsumami. On “Africa’s Cry,” freewheeling, 6/8, Afro-Cuban bass bends by Fernando Huergo precede discordant mournful passages straight from an Africanized jazz version of Maxim Gorky’s Chelkash. In it, unison discordances, with emotive alto moaning from Miguel Zenon, countered by Avishai E. Cohen’s pussycatting trumpet zoological cries and flights, end up as sonic vestiges at the coda’s tail end. Luis Perdomo exerts bracing pianistic chops through the entire recording, and his Pascoal-izing performance on “Hermeto” is chordal-licking good. At first, “Loud Pictures” is carried surreptitiously by Steve Langone’s drumming, as he often does so swingingly well elsewhere on the record. Then, a heated montuno passage features him overtly as he parlays tempo finesse, with self-possessed abandon, in an off-kilter pocket. Cole Porter’s “Night and Day” in a reengineered 7/4 rumba? Yes, and the harmonically advanced blowing-from the always-surprising Cohen-joined to Zenon’s sonically mature edginess on alto, is one of many prime lessons afforded by this masterful Latin reinterpretation of the jazz canon.

Originally Published