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Sammy Figueroa: Imaginary World

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After three albums co-billed with his band the Latin Jazz Explosion, percussionist Sammy Figueroa stands on his own for Imaginary World. But not entirely-although his name graces the top of the album cover, a bit farther down it notes “featuring Silvano Monasterios & Gabriel Vivas,” and that’s important stuff. The Venezuelan pianist and bassist, respectively, each contribute four songs to the nine-track set, their compositions furnishing its direction, setting and overall tone.

Monasterios goes first, his four running consecutively. “Bittersweet” bursts to life with a cymbal crash, resounding bass and muscular tandem trumpet and saxophone, all of it anchored by Figueroa and drummer David Chiverton’s rock-steady foundations. Each of Monasterios’ other three tracks displays a different disposition: “Waiting for You,” a funk-driven danceability; “He Didn’t Know,” a wide-open breathiness; “Flow of the Universe,” a highlight, a loosely structured juxtaposition of pianistic excellence, plucky saxophone from Troy Roberts and dizzying polyrhythms courtesy of Figueroa and Chiverton.

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