Best Friends

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Latin jazz is generally hot-blooded music, but a quiet fire is maintained by the music of trumpeter/flugelhornist Ramirez and percussionist Hidalgo. Not that this is salsa light; far from it. The music sports a tempura-like crust: airy, simply melodic, and spicy, but not burning. The heat does come from Hidalgo on congas and timbales alongside the exciting drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, while pianist Papo Lucca and bassist Oskar Cartaya match Ramirez, step-for-calm, patient step. Just about every well established Afro-Cuban/Puerto Rican rhythm is heard during the eight cuts, five penned by Ramirez. "San Juan Ritual" sets the compact, non-threatening tone in ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Michael G. Nastos
Latin jazz is generally hot-blooded music, but a quiet fire is maintained by the music of trumpeter/flugelhornist Ramirez and percussionist Hidalgo. Not that this is salsa light; far from it. The music sports a tempura-like crust: airy, simply melodic, and spicy, but not burning. The heat does come from Hidalgo on congas and timbales alongside the exciting drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez, while pianist Papo Lucca and bassist Oskar Cartaya match Ramirez, step-for-calm, patient step. Just about every well established Afro-Cuban/Puerto Rican rhythm is heard during the eight cuts, five penned by Ramirez. "San Juan Ritual" sets the compact, non-threatening tone in mambo fashion. This piece and the easy cha-cha-cha "Celebrando" reserve space for Ramirez to trade fours with the Hidalgo and Hernandez cooking on timbales and drums. "A Puerto Rico" uses standard clave rhythm, closest to a 50/50 latin/jazz mix, the trumpeter's effortless lines recognizing the witty pianistics of Lucca before Hernandez steals the show with an incredible solo. "Herencia" and the title track relieves Ramirez of writing chores. The former features the hottest montuno piano on the date with other guest "best friends" Tito Puente on timbales, and the fathers of the leaders, "Pipo" Ramirez on a piquant tenor sax solo, and Jose "Manengue" Hidalgo on ripping conga drums. "Best Friends" is ostensibly a descarga between the co-leaders, Ramirez using sweet muted and non-muted trumpet to inform Hidalgo in various improvisational notions. Hidalgo wrote "Clean," a beautifully conceived, repeated piano chord sequence, heavy yet delicately balanced, based in part on the melody of "Summertime." He also penned "La Perla," a classic rumba with more repetition on the piano by Lucca, and lilting trumpet. A bomba or plena Afro-Rican motif with hints of "The Peanut Vendor," establishes with precise montuno piano "Hasta Decir No Mas," again with a percussion workout that is a common thread for the end of most bridges in these selections. There's a consistency of tempo heard throughout; nothing boils over, nothing gets too soppy slow, and nothing is boring or overtly copped. It's as if the intent is to simmer and bubble, an alluring technique that serves the participants and the listener well. A fine release from these expert musicians for the general latin-jazz public. Recommended.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/22/2005
  • Label: Aj Records
  • UPC: 710337102222
  • Catalog Number: 71022

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 San Juan Ritual - Humberto Ramírez (6:06)
  2. 2 Celebrando - Humberto Ramírez (5:07)
  3. 3 Hasta Decir No Mas - Humberto Ramírez (6:23)
  4. 4 A Puerto Rico - Humberto Ramírez (6:57)
  5. 5 Clean - Humberto Ramírez (6:40)
  6. 6 Herencia - Humberto Ramírez (6:16)
  7. 7 La Perla - Humberto Ramírez (5:43)
  8. 8 Best Friends - Humberto Ramírez (6:22)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Giovanni Hidalgo Primary Artist, Percussion, Bongos, Conga, Timbales
Tito Puente Timbales, Guest Appearance
Oskar Cartaya Bajo Sexto
Horacio "El Negro" Hernández Bateria
Papo Lucca Piano
Carmen Luz Quiñones Peinado
Technical Credits
Giovanni Hidalgo Arranger, Producer, Liner Notes
Jose Luis Estrada Engineer
Papo Lucca Arranger
Arturo G. Orozco Composer
Cesar Regino Composer
Ricardo Catala Jr. Representation
Mark Nixdorf Engineer
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