Drummer Joe McCarthy and saxophonist-arranger Vince Norman have been leading the Afro Bop Alliance for over a decade. Following their Latin Grammy Award in 2008, they put together an all-star big band for Una Mas, the group’s debut on OA2. This potent collection includes stellar renditions of Luis Perdomo’s dynamic “Golpe de Cumaco,” Joey Calderazzo’s “El Niño” and Cal Tjader’s vibrant “Viva Cepeda,” along with a Latin-jazz take on Benny Golson’s “Along Came Betty.” Vibraphonist Dave Samuels guests on his own compositions, the turbulent descarga “The Gathering” and the lovely “Cherry Blossom,” as well as on Mike Pope’s clave-fueled “The Avid Listener” and Hector Martignon’s challenging “The Floating World,” which features some fiery exchanges between drummer McCarthy and conguero Roberto Quintero.Originally Published
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