Bobby Matos: Sessions

This compilation of 12 tunes, covering a fourteen year period, serves as an excellent introduction to the work of percussionist/bandleader Bobby Matos, who describes his approach as having a strong “Afro-Cuban rhythmic sensibility and…a Jazz Messengers horn approach.” “God of the Crossroads” features a wonderful piano solo by Victor Cegarra. Mike Turre is on soprano sax on this number and on the funky “Chameleon” he plays soprano, alto, and baritone. On Mongo Santamaria’s “Mi Guaguanco,” Miguel Cruz gets an unusual rhythmic sound by playing the bongos with sticks. The charanga-style violin and flute segment generates excitement as do Matos’ vocals. His Spanish vocals on the Rascals’ tune “Groovin'” are very hip. The descarga “Cafe con Bagels” has trombonist Gary Eisenberg and flutist Louis Taylor in a vigorous exchange, recalling the old Eddie Palmieri group, La Perfecta. On “Bembe” it’0s Artie Webb on flute, with Taylor playing a very emotional tenor. Latin jazz fans will savor this release.