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Santi Debriano Group: Panamaniacs

On “Xin Xin Swing” bassist Debriano’s solo is nimble and fiery. His dynamism is matched by that of tenorist David Sanchez and pianist David Kikoski. On the Benny More ballad, “Como Fue,” Sanchez’s phrasing recalls that of another great tenor balladeer, Dexter Gordon. The other ballad, Herbie Hancock’s “Mimosa,” features a sumptuous solo by Kikoski and a direct, unpretentious Sanchez solo. “Broken Wing” is a tango with equal parts lyricism and driving intensity. Debriano plays bowed bass on this tune and on “Balaqdana.”

The opener, “Sensacion,” is a mambo composed in 1949 by Debriano’s father, a pianist and bandleader in his own right. “Darien,” as Debriano states, is the “freest piece on the album.” “Tio” is a calypso-influenced number written for another Panamanian, trumpeter Victor Paz. Drummer Tommy Campbell and percussionist Mino Cinelu contribute the surging rhythms so essential to this Latin-tinged outing.

Originally Published