Considered a top scholar and musician in the field of Latin jazz, drummer and percussionist Marlon Simon releases another electrifying album with his band, the Nagual Spirits. In Case You Missed It showcases Simon’s rhythmically rich arrangements of four new originals and several standards.
The music is generally up-tempo and heavy on the percussions as expected. Helping to make this project a family affair are brothers Michael (trumpet) and pianist extraordinaire Edward Simon appearing on the recording. Also featured are tenorist Peter Brainin, trumpeter Alex Norris, Michael Boone on the bass and Roberto Quintero on percussions.
Simon’s piece "Por Los Morillo" and Bobby Watson’s title tune "In Case You Missed It," provide highlights of the drummer’s talents capturing a stellar performance. Perhaps the best overall percussive track may well be the Moises Simons composition "Manicero," which features the leader on the drums and timbales while Quintero plays the congas, clave and guiro.
Armando Manzanero’s soft ballad "Huele A Peligro," provides space for Brother Ed to take center stage with a marvelous performance on the keys while saxophonist Brainin weighs in with an elegant solo of his own.
The album is dedicated to the memory of saxophonist John Stubblefield and jazz pianist Hilton Ruiz. In honor of Ruiz, Simon includes an excellent arrangement of "Home Cooking," one of the late pianist’s better known compositions and better cuts on this disc.
Conveying sharp Afro-Latin rhythms in a sizzling session of Latin jazz grooves, Marlon Simon’s fourth recording with the Nagual Spirits band is truly a gem of an album. If you favor the Latin jazz genre, get a hold of this recording In Case You Missed It.