Trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and legendary percussionist Bill Summers give Latin jazz fans a history lesson with their latest release, Vol. 4: Vodou Dance. Mayfield, a New Orleans native,traveled to Cuba, Haiti, Brazil and Trinidad in search of the African roots of jazz. The result is a well-done compilation of hot rhythms that will keep you on your feet. Since I'm a huge Brazilian jazz fan, I especially loved their rendition of George Duke's Brazilian Sugar
. It reminded me of the waves of Ipanema beach. Mulher Baiana
is another wonderful Brazilian tune, perfect for summertime. On the tune Wepa
, the Cuban singers pay tribute to various Latin American countries such as Cuba, Dominican Republic, Mexico and the continent of South America. Another favorite is Vodou Love Call
. It's romantic, refreshing and reminds me of a Saturday night at a jazz club.
This CD is an exciting follow-up to their previous Grammy-nominated Vol.3: New Congo Square. I recommend that you get that CD before listening to this one if you're not familiar with the group. Los Hombres Calientes is New Orleans soul with a Latin touch. For the purists out there, you won't be disappointed with this CD because Mayfield genuinely sticks to traditional Latin sounds, nothing is watered down here. If you're looking for exercise or cooking music, this should be in your record library. I get pumped up just hearing the infectious rhythms of the drums! But this CD doesn't just focus onrhumba and bossa nova sounds. There are also short snippets of African-based ceremonial music from these same countries. There's also a few New Orleans funk songs, one which includes Cyril Neville and another that features the Mardi Gras Indians.
This CD is truly a masterpiece. As a New Orleanian, it makes me proud to live in a city where we still have fresh young talent who continue to push the boundaries and create beautiful music. I'll give it a rating of five and a half pralines made with extra cream and sugar.