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Jose Luis Madueno: Chilcano

An absorbing effort filled with intriguing rhythms and lithe, memorable melodies, Jose Luis Madueno’s Chilcano (Songosaurus 723774; 64:36) is the perfect collection for listeners intrigued by popular Latin jazz, but tired of the same old glossy would-be sambas. The classically trained Peruvian pianist makes an impression with both his dancing piano work and his sensitively arranged compositions. He employs traditional Afro-Peruvian rhythmic forms as frames for such memorable melodies as “Reflections,” which features a dynamic give and take between Madueno’s piano and Steve Tavaglione’s tenor sax; the dark, staccatto horn-driven concoction “Witch Doctor in the Alley,” and the joyful “Waiting for Tomorrow,” which builds into a sensation of flight. The musicianship is a strong presence throughout, highlighted by such stellar turns as Pedro Eustache’s shapely, ethereal flute on the bossa nova-based “Staying at Home,” and Oscar Stagnaro’s stuttering bass work on “Games.”

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