Showing posts with label Latin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Latin. Show all posts


Acoustic Instrumental Review:New Latitude-Wood, Steel, and Grace

Release Date: January 20, 2020
Label: New Latitude Music

Dave Erickson (acoustic guitar), Jim Carr (acoustic guitar), Deon Kuhl (drums & percussion) and Rick Brough (upright bass) are New Latitude. The former bass player Bob Strickland played on 5 tracks. Their latest release is Wood, Steel, and Grace.

This would serve as my introduction and a new discovery, so that starts things off with a lot of anticipation. After reading some history of the band I could tell it was going to be something I would enjoy.

The cover of the album is wood with various colorings, just like the music you will hear on this recording It is acoustic instrumental with a melting pot of styles and genres offered on the nine tracks. New Age, Jazz, and Latin flavored tracks flow effortlessly through their instruments.

I have a kinship for Latin music and “Días Calientes” was a quick favorite. There is that irresistible and colorful rhythm that runs through the song along with some very fast acoustic guitar playing. If they could have picked one spotlight track for the album this would be it. The musical gusto of each member of the band is quite impressive and when all of their talents come together it is like a musical carnival of sounds. 

“Open Road” is a jazz track, the embodiment of the “quiet storm” label minus the R&B reference. 
It is a distinct sub-genre of that particular kind of music. The transition from the previous track is perfectly executed and a reminder that the genres are close cousins in the diverse genre that jazz can give a listener.

“A Serious Man” is a fast-moving track featuring uplifting nimble-fingered guitar interplay. It is a wonderful listen that also spotlights the unmistakable standup bass with well-placed percussion. The choice for bass is excellent for this type of acoustic instrumental presentation, it complements the guitar playing and is the driving wheel of each track.

“Old Friends” was more of New Age style, it reminded me of some of the Windham Hill releases that came out when Will Ackerman was signing on artists to his label and getting this kind of music a world stage. Now the stage is infinite because of the internet and streaming, which is a good thing for any artist looking for exposure. The title of the track was perfect, it was like seeing an “Old Friend.”

The curtain closer “Prismatic Sky,” which also had a New Age sound and atmosphere and consequently was an easy choice to add to my New Age Music Reviews Spotify Playlist. It was a great way to end the album.

The range of musical style and expertise on display throughout the nine tracks is superb and I would most definitely appreciate another helping of this at any time. This is music for any time of day or night, or if you happen to be looking for something that will put a smile on your face and in your heart, then I would recommend listening to Wood, Steel, and Grace.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
February 1, 2020
Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

1. Alpine Bliss (3:10)
2. Cruising Altitude (3:42)
3. Días Calientes (4:31)
4. Open Road (3:40)
5. Alpenglow (3:37)
6. A Serious Man (3:58)
7. Windmills (3:19)
8. Old Friends (3:12)
9. Prismatic Sky (3:03)


Latin-World-Rock Review: Santana-Africa Speaks

Release Date: June 7, 2019
Label: Starfaith, LLC

Santana is back at it, with their newest album Africa Speaks. This one features the incredible vocals of Buika, who helped co-write all songs on the album. Aside from the obvious rock genre, this album includes jazz, blues rock, and African roots. Everything about this album screams “take me to the Sahara.” If you’re a fan of Santana, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with any of the songs. For those who aren’t familiar with the band, don’t let the title throw you off. This album kicks ass.

The first track is called “Africa Speaks,” and it is an anthem. It starts with a spoken story, which is common in African culture. The bongo drums and chanted vocals are clearly what has given this album its African influence. Buika takes over with her otherworldly vocals. Something about the smooth transition between each note is mesmerizing. “Yo Me Lo Merezco” has a 70’s open road rock sound, like a Latin Woodstock sort of song.

There are also songs on the album that aren’t so heavy with African elements. “Blue Skies” starts as an easy-going song. It instills that hazy, looking up at the clouds feeling. Then after the four-minute mark, it pretty much just becomes instrumental. The guitar solo is great and all, but I think the song would have been more cohesive without it. “Breaking Down The Door” gives us more classic Santana vibes. There are more Latin sounds in this song with the horn section, smooth electric guitar, and Frenchy-accordion. These songs aren’t super “lyric-driven.” Most of the lyrics get lost under the instrumentals. It also doesn’t help that the Buika isn’t singing all the songs in her first language.

The album ends with “Candombe Cumbele,” which is another song with strong African elements. Buika’s vocals are incredibly rich and raw. You can tell that there is hardly any vocal processing on her cuts. The African influences are a cool idea for a rock album, and Santana nailed the concept. There’s something that draws the ear in when listening to music from a different culture. Santana brings a new flair and style to typical rock music. I think this album could even be liked by younger listeners. With all the remakes going on, I think that Disney needs to collaborate with Santana on a new Tarzan soundtrack. It would be a nice way to expose that younger audience to Santana’s music. That’s just something I would love to see happen, but who knows, Phil Collins might already have a claim to it. With Santana being such a well-known band, you might have already heard the album. Maybe you’re just here to hear someone else’s opinion, but in the off chance that this is news to you, go check out Africa Speaks. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed.

Lily Clark – Berklee College of Music Intern
October 20, 2019

Reviews Provided By:
Rate The Tracks

01. Africa Speaks
02. Batonga
03. Oye Este Mi Canto
04. Yo Me Lo Merezco
05. Blue Skies
06. Paraísos Quemados
07. Breaking The Door Down
08. Los Invisibes
09. Luna Hechicera
10. Bembele
11. Candombe Cumbele



Veteran Cuban Musician Rey Cabrera Spices Up The Summer With A Brand New Album!

Los Angeles, CA - Cuban born vocalist and master of the tres, a traditional Cuban style guitar, brings his finest latin jazz music to the North American audiences this coming August 5th. The extraordinary new album, Cabrera’s third full-length as Rey Cabrera y Sus Amigos, is entitled Controversia, and will be released on both CD and digitally by Goldenlane Records, a subsidiary of Cleopatra Records, Inc.

Born 1943 in the Oriente mountains that surround Santiago de Cuba, Cabrera inherited his love and passion for música campesina, Cuba’s oldest and most traditional music style, from both of his parents. His father taught him to play the tres, and before too long the young Cabrera moved to Santiago de Cuba where he met and performed with Eliades Ochoa, later of Buena Vista Social Club fame. From there, Cabrera went on to his own international acclaim as one of the last ambassadors of the Cuban musical style known as son cubano, a blend of Spanish canción and African rhythms. Cabrera has performed everywhere from the Montreux Jazz Festival, the North Sea Jazz in South Africa, the UK, and Belgium. Now this seasoned veteran will bring his immense talent to US shores - so grab a mojito and let Cabrera’s band transport you through the rich history of his musical heritage!

1. Merci Beaucoup
2. Mi Niña Mari
3. Los Refrancitos
4. Le Canto Al Palenque with Roberto Carrión
5. Cuando Nace El Sol with René Baes
6. Me Voy A Recoger Café
7. Canto A Bruselas, 10 Años Después
8. Los Testigos
9. La Calabaza with Mongo Vuelta
10. El Fuiki Fuiki with DJ Proceed

To order the CD on Amazon:

To order the digital version on iTunes:

Press inquiries:
Glass Onyon PR
Billy James
PH: 828-350-8158

11041 Santa Monica Blvd #703
Los Angeles CA 90025


Marco Granados Celebrates The Music of Venezuela On New Release

New York, NY - December 16, 2008- Prepare to take a vacation unlike any other! Warm culture, proud tradition, and undeniable spirit come together in the form of passionate music with renowned flutist Marco Granados’ newest release Music of Venezuela. The record embodies the infectious joy of Granados’ homeland and serves as a whirlwind tour of jazzy, Latin America-inspired folk music.....READ MORE...


Marco Granados-Music of Venezuela Review

Artist: Marco Granados
Title: Music of Venezuela
Genre: World-Latin-Folk-Instrumental
Label: Soundbrush Records
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Marco Granados states in the liner notes of his beautiful serenade to his country Music of Venezuela, that the music of Venezuela is one of the rare treasures of Latin America, it seamlessly combines cultures, musical traditions, rhythms and the spirit of a people in a joyful and innocent voice....READ MORE...


JoJo Styles Renews His Love for Latin Instrumental Jazz on Two Releases

Oakland, CA-May 1, 2008- JoJo Styles got inspiration from living in the Bay Area during rock music’s most pivotal and productive times, the 60s. JoJo had the opportunity to see Hendrix, Santana, Miles Davis, John McLaughlin, Chick Corea and other luminaries of the day at the festivals and concerts going on regularly at venues and parks. It was the most colorful and influential decade of music and anyone that was lucky enough to experience it all can attest to that fact...READ MORE...


JoJo Styles-Bossa Nuevo Vol. 1 & 2 Review

Artist: JoJo Styles
Title: Bossa Nuevo Vol. 1 & 2-Light of Love/The Offering (Cool Groove-Hot Guitar)
Genre: Instrumental-Latin-Jazz
Label: Casa Grande Records
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JoJo Styles had the benefit of developing his music while watching some of the legendary figures perform in San Francisco. He saw Hendrix and Santana and was all over the Bay Area attending the free concerts of the day. Those days are history but for the people that lived and soaked up the vibes of those times the memories are forever imprinted on their souls...READ MORE...