Friday, November 1, 2013

CD Review: Bill O'Connell & The Latin Jazz All-Stars' 'Zocalo'

Bill O'Connell & The Latin Jazz All-Stars

Anyone with a knack for Latin jazz and instrumental magnificence will appreciate the jazzy and Latin leanings of Bill O'Connell and his Latin Jazz All-Stars. Zocalo contains nine long tracks rich with energetic percussion and jazzy pizzazz. Bill is a pianist that enlists the aid of Steve Slagle on alto/soprano sax, Conrad Herwig on trombone, Richie Flores on congas, Luques Curtis on bass, and Adam Cruz on drums. The heady opener, "Big Sur," is a great mix of instrumentation with lively percussion and entrancing horns. "Nothing But The Truth" is a very up-tempo number on piano, percussion, and horns. The rapid musical textures are jazzy and Latin-esque. This is definitely not a lazy tune. "Eric's Song" is a stark contrast from "Nothing But The Truth," because the music is slower, softer, and more spacious. The twinkling piano keys, brushy percussion, and sauntering horns provide a relaxed sound. There is something for everyone on Zocalo. ~ Matthew Forss

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