Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Negroni's Trio: Just Three

Mojito Records
By Ric Bang
Buy CD: Just Three

Those who aren’t Latin jazz fans may not be familiar with this group, led by pianist Jose Negroni. The Puerto Rican native is a star in his own country, both as a musician and teacher at the island’s Music Conservatory. This release, his fifth album, also features his son, Nomar Negroni, on drums; they’re joined by bassist Marco Panascia.

Jose Negroni was director of music publishing at Sony for almost 10 years; Nomar, one of the finest drummer in the Latin jazz genre, is a product of the Berklee College of Music.

All the tunes here are originals; they’re spirited and swing wonderfully. The arrangements  and cohesion of the artists  deliver a “sound” exceeding that of a usual trio. The guys don’t just play a melody; each instrument contributes relatively complex lines that combine to create a larger “whole.”

Latin music sometimes is too repetitive, with phrases repeated over and over, to the point of boredom. That’s not the case with this group. Each track is relatively short, which ensures that audience interest is maintained.

This is the best Latin album I’ve heard in a long time.

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