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Edward Simon With Afinidad & Imani Winds: Sorrows & Triumphs (Sunnyside)

Review of album by pianist featuring two suites

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Cover of Edward Simon With Afinidad & Imani Winds album Sorrows & Triumphs on Sunnyside
Cover of Edward Simon With Afinidad & Imani Winds album Sorrows & Triumphs on Sunnyside

Pianist Edward Simon was born in Venezuela but has worked in the United States for 30 years. His origins are intermittently audible in his music—North American jazz with a subtle undercurrent of South American rhythmic allure. His colors tend toward the pastel. His lyricism does not impose itself upon you; it draws you in.

Simon’s preferred format is the trio, and his taste in bassists and drummers has long been exemplary—currently, he’s working with bassist Scott Colley and drummer Brian Blade. When he adds alto saxophonist David Binney, he calls the quartet Afinidad. Sorrows & Triumphs uses this group and several guests (guitarist Adam Rogers, vocalist Gretchen Parlato, percussionists Rogerio Boccato and Luisito Quintero) to perform two suites: the three-movement title work and the four-movement House of Numbers, on which Afinidad is augmented by a classical woodwind ensemble, Imani Winds.

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