It’s been said before, but it bears repeating: Yomo Toro is an impressive guitarist. The Puerto Rican virtuoso flits effortlessly from note to note, blurring time while remaining fluidly funky. His acoustic soloing evokes the speed and delicacy of hummingbird wings, yet it is angular and forceful, as well. It has to be. On El Espiritu Jibaro, the septuagenarian plays not only with trombonist Roswell Rudd, a veteran of New Thing groups such as New York Art Quartet and Liberation Music Orchestra, but also with percussionist Bobby Sanabria and Ascension, a 26-piece ensemble that might swallow a lesser guitarist with its enormous sound. The Roswell- and Toro-augmented group whips up a bitches brew of Latin burners and ballads. Both are largely instrumental and largely showcases for the headliners.
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