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

Ray Barretto and New World Spirit: Contact!

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.

This is Barretto’s fifth release with his ensemble New World Spirit and it doesn’t take a back seat to previous outings. The group sounds tight and daring with the emphasis on the jazz component. As long as Barretto is slapping the skins the Latin tinge is there, but this is not about shaking your booty. However, Barretto’s own compositions, the funky “Liberated Spirit” and “La Bendicion” are deeply rooted in the music of the barrio. Nice vocal intro and close by Barretto on “La Bendicion.” I also like pianist John Di Martino’s intelligent solo on this number. Trumpeter and trombonist Michael Philip Mossman, always a strong contributor, composed two of the better tunes, “Moss Code” and “Dance of Denial.” His muted trumpet on the standard “Poinciana” is appropriately dreamy. “Caravan” and “The Summer Knows” are the other standards. Trumpeter Ray Vega, who will sometimes alternate on percussion, is heard here exclusively in that role.