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Carlos Henriquez: The Bronx Pyramid

Fellow bassists have long marveled at the way Carlos Henriquez attacks his strings. The South Bronx native’s lines are clean, crisp and to-the-point-jet fuel for the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and other groups led by his mentor, Wynton Marsalis, and a long list of jazz and pop notables. So it’s no surprise that Henriquez’s woody, rich sound and propulsive grooves are at the center of his debut album as a leader.

Henriquez, son of a trombonist father and a mother who was a dancer, celebrates his family roots throughout, particularly on the title track, which opens the CD. His bouncy rhythmic figure enters first, with Michael Rodriguez’s mellow trumpet sounding the main theme, and the sonic palette expands to include pianist Robert Rodriguez (Michael’s brother, and partner in the Rodriguez Brothers band), Pedrito Martinez on batas, Bobby Allende on congas and drummer Ali Jackson, the bassist’s rhythm-section cohort in the Lincoln Center band. The multi-segmented piece eventually leads into a brief double-time feel and a return to the head.

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