Become a member and get exclusive access to articles, live sessions and more!
Start Your Free Trial

Roland Vazquez: Further Dance

Years after breaking ground in large-ensemble Latin rhythmic jazz with his L.A. Jazz Ensemble, visionary percussionist Roland Vazquez continues to re-define the way we experience music on the engaging release Further Dance (RVD 7005; 76:59). Utilizing tight quintet arrangements, Vazquez here records live to two-track, for an uncommonly energetic, “real-time” feel in emotion-spanning mini epics like “No Place to Hide this Heart.” The dynamics and spaces speak as intently as the notes on salsafied originals like the pulsating piano-based “Tu Sabes?,” with the two-track recording lending the immediacy of musicians playing in the same room-not just with each other, but with the listener. Vazquez also hasn’t lost his vision in selecting musicians: his quintet, anchored by Mark Soskin on piano and Anthony Jackson on contrabass guitar (in itself adding a greater depth to the music) is highly sensitive, executing complex dynamics in absorbing tunes like “The Path of Change.” Besides the array of multi-phased, percussive compositions, Vazquez also offers a pair of improvised vignettes, including the high-energy percussion conversation with Ricardo Candelaria, “Some Fun Dango.” After listening to hours of massively overdubbed, slickly engineered recordings, Vazquez’s work presents a welcome opportunity to get back to the basics of live, emotionally arresting music.

Originally Published