Latino intensity was never so feverishly served up in musical form as from the composition and imagination of one Oskar Cartaya. With a mesmerizing mixture of jazz and funk he launches his solo journey with an inferno of frenzied fervor. Each cut in this collection has a very driven and unique sound, which makes this project especially appealing. It is one of those disks you will continue to just press play.
It is also a first for O.Y.E. Records and kudos for coming out with a daring and electrifying piece of excellence. "My Music My Friends My Time" includes numerous musicians from all genres and areas of jazz. Percussionist Marc Quinones makes his presence and eclectic abilities known throughout the project with unique approach. Bobby Allende can ignite a room with his conga flair along with the vibrant string work of guitarist Ron De Jesus. However, the talent in totality in this high-energy jam session, which embraces this project, is a boatload of excellence. Of course less the listener forget the pulsating beat coming from the bass of Oskar Cartaya, simply outstanding Latino presence all around!
Cartaya prolonged wait to attempt a solo project may be puzzling to some but his response to that was defended by logic, "Because I was waiting for the moment to happen. It wasn’t something that could be rushed or forced." Cartaya explains. Prior to this undertaking his talents were experienced in such projects as "Passion Dance" by Herb Albert and "Plenarriquena" for Jennifer Lopez, along with tour dates with Spyro Gyra, Tito Puente, and Obie Bermudez. So it is not surprising his debut project was on hold. From being involved with Grammy award winning compositions to movie soundtracks, Cartaya was certain to be success on his own.
In the world of music, influences deliver that drive to accomplish a project that expresses one within, for Cartaya those mentors are many, "Some of the great players from Bobby Valentin to Eddie Gomez and friends like Marcus Miller & Abe Laborial" Cartaya states.
As for a Latino Jazz piece, this project in ways displays why the public is thirsty for more of this specific genre. The fire, passion, and strong free wheeling composition, so it seems, evolves out of these cuts. So it brings to question the state of Latin jazz in our world today. "Latin Jazz is evolving into a fusion of players from all walks of life adding their flavors into the mix. Very exciting is how the younger generation is giving it their interpretation." Cartaya explains.
"El Yunque" the pulsating bass of Cartaya takes real form as it marries the sounds of Nick Smith’s keyboards. It is interesting to note the strength and power the bass can have in music through this piece. Stunning composition to set the tone for the project.
"Lamento" the mellow tones of the Cartaya bass take the direction of the piece through an expected course. Kirk Whalum’s talent and control of the saxophone makes a statement as the piece progresses. This piece has such an uncomplicated sinuous sound, which expresses an enormous amount of feel in its arraignment.
All the cuts in this project bring esteem and enhanced recognition to the genre of Latino Jazz, very well presented and produced. The entire cast has put forth a strong effort with a true sensual Latin appeal. It’s a whole lot of Latin mystique floating in a pool of pure cool!