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Negroni’s Trio: Father & Son

Pianist/composer José Negroni continues his journey as a trio leader with his Cacao Música release Father & Son, uniting sounds of his native Puerto Rico with jazz and other world textures. With a compelling fusion of classical chops and Afro-Caribbean sensibility, Negroni’s flair for theatrical color and musical storytelling are evident on this follow-up to his 2004 Grammy-nominated release Piano/Drums/Bass. In the company of his son Nomar on drums and Italian-born bassist Marco Panascia, Negroni weaves dramatic lyricism punctuated by explosive rhythmical play, especially on the title track, where the Flamenco-inspired melody evolves into a funky, songo-tinged drum solo. Panascia and Nomar are the perfect complement to Negroni’s powerful and dynamic skills, with the majority of the tunes showcasing intimate conversation between the three, peppered by tasty fills and breaks as well as quiet introspection in the Velázquez standard “Bésame Mucho.”

Featured guest artists include drummer/percussionist Alex Acuña, who gets the spotlight on “Cajón y Tecla,” a Corea-inspired piece that brings out the percussive nature of both artists. “Raíces” is another standout track, combining acoustic and electric piano in this varying-tempo piece that twists and turns while keeping the energy high, and also features Panascia on a grooving bass solo. Additional guests on the date include vocalist María Nahíma, who is featured on “En Silencio,” and guest cuatro-player Quique Domenech, who adds some typical flavor to the funky and angular danza “De Un Pájaro Las Dos Alas,” a tribute to the eternal bond between the islands of Puerto Rico and Cuba. Father & Son is not only fresh and intimate, it showcases Negroni’s unique approach to the Latin-jazz medium, showing us that it is indeed possible to say something new.

Originally Published