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

This is the 1st of your 3 free articles

Become a member for unlimited website access and more.

FREE TRIAL Available!

Learn More

Already a member? Sign in to continue reading

Caribbean Jazz Project: New Horizons

JazzTimes may earn a small commission if you buy something using one of the retail links in our articles. JazzTimes does not accept money for any editorial recommendations. Read more about our policy here. Thanks for supporting JazzTimes.

As the sole remaining member of the original Caribbean Jazz Project and one of the album’s principal composers, vibes and marimba player Dave Samuels is at the core of New Horizons. Teamed now with flutist Dave Valentin and guitarist Steve Khan plus bassist John Benitez, and percussionists Richie Flores and Robert Vilera, the CJP is actually a new band with a new sound. The vibes and flute combine to create a gentle breeze on Khan’s tropical opener “Descarga Canelon.” Meanwhile, Khan’s guitar stealthily threatens the tranquillity with its sharper edge. An important contributing factor to the overall feel of the album is the absence of a trap set. With the explosive Flores and Vilera in the mix, it is certainly not missed and seems to free the musicians from any predictability. The music rhythmically moves to the African continent for Samuel’s “Ivory Coast” and then takes a fresh look at “A Night in Tunisia.” Traveling around the African diaspora, the worlds and influences of the music often collide in the realm of creative improvisation as heard on Khan’s “Safe and Sound.” The walls come tumbling down as Flores and Vilera take off on their own super-sonic “Rompiendo Hielo en 2000.” Samuels soon jumps into the fracas and becomes the heartbeat to the intensity of the drums.