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The Last Bullfighter

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The first studio recording by L.A.'s Latin jazz group nonpareil is also the first on leader José Rizo's Saungú label. The name derives from tenor sax man Justo Almario's Spanish-accented approval, "Sounds good." And The Last Bullfighter sounds good, indeed. This is Latin jazz that kicks like a two-ton side of beef with an attitude. Rizo, the popular host at KKJZ radio in Los Angeles, convened the group four years ago, releasing two well-received live albums. Normally, the power of a live, improvising ensemble is captured best in the moment, but JLS goes against the grain. The rich, attack-heavy studio sound (courtesy of producers Rizo and Daniel Torres) is ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Mark Schwartz
The first studio recording by L.A.'s Latin jazz group nonpareil is also the first on leader José Rizo's Saungú label. The name derives from tenor sax man Justo Almario's Spanish-accented approval, "Sounds good." And The Last Bullfighter sounds good, indeed. This is Latin jazz that kicks like a two-ton side of beef with an attitude. Rizo, the popular host at KKJZ radio in Los Angeles, convened the group four years ago, releasing two well-received live albums. Normally, the power of a live, improvising ensemble is captured best in the moment, but JLS goes against the grain. The rich, attack-heavy studio sound (courtesy of producers Rizo and Daniel Torres) is electrifying, and the drama is heightened by Rizo's compostions. The title track, for example, merges Andalusian drama with brawny soloing from Almario; the opener, a salute to Dizzy Gillespie's "Bebop," is powered by Alex Acuña's masterful drumming and fittingly volatile trumpet from Francisco Torres, who also arranged. Notable are the JLS rhythm team of congueros Poncho Sanchez and veteran Afro-Cuban master Francisco Aguabella, the latter getting his chance to shine on Rizo's "Sun God." Add in "Justo's Trane Ride," a tip of the hat by Almario to John Coltrane, complete with snatches of "A Love Supreme," and you have a set of Latin jazz that grooves hard, deep, and extra spicy. ¡Saungú!
All Music Guide - Evan C. Gutierrez
After two records, both of which were produced by the same live concert, Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars set out with a new label, a new musical director, and a new idea for their third album. Some may even consider this a sophomore release because of the nature of the first and second. Packed with individual character and a new aesthetic, The Last Bullfighter marks a new direction from this genuinely all-star group. Having been recorded in the studio instead of in a club, with a live and enthusiastic audience, makes a big difference. The fidelity is far superior to the previous two discs, and because of the controlled context, the arrangements are much more complex and interesting. The masterful and intricate horn arranging was done by trombonist Francisco Torres, who went from just an arranging credit on the first two records to arranger/musical director/producer on Bullfighter. Unfortunately, much of the vivacious, joyful quality captured in the club -- thanks to both the live crowd and the loose, descarga-style feeling of the music -- is lost. There is a feeling that the All Stars went from a neighborhood jam session to Carnegie Hall. It's good to play Carnegie Hall, but it's not the same. The musicianship throughout the record is truly fantastic, and the careful, measured approach toward arranging may prove more palatable to some than the previous record's loose, free, and sometimes frazzled energy. Hopefully, Latin jazz audiences can look forward to more from Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars, as they are one of the finer groups of their kind, studio precision and club frenzy alike.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 6/15/2004
  • Label: Saungu
  • UPC: 897904000010
  • Catalog Number: 1
  • Sales rank: 323,943

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Bebop (5:36)
  2. 2 Caramba (6:46)
  3. 3 The Last Bullfighter (6:15)
  4. 4 Sun God (5:30)
  5. 5 Cozumel (6:43)
  6. 6 Justo's Train Ride (7:41)
  7. 7 Mr. Drop (5:13)
  8. 8 Ironman James (4:15)
  9. 9 Chupacabras (6:58)
  10. 10 Saoco (7:17)
  11. 11 Rumba Intro (1:19)
  12. 12 Yo Soy la Rumba (6:22)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Jazz on the Latin Side All Stars Primary Artist
Justo Almario Tenor Saxophone, Soloist
Alex Acuña Drums, Soloist, Palittos
Francisco Aguabella Conga, Quinto
Sal Cracchiolo Trumpet, Muted Trumpet
Freddie Crespo Vocals, Claves
John Crespo Percussion, Vocals
Ramon Flores Trumpet, Soloist
Eric Jorgensen Trombone, Soloist
Danilo Lozano Flute, Vocals, Soloist
Scott Martin Baritone Saxophone
Alfredo Rolando Ortiz Percussion, Bongos, Vocals, Guiro
Ricardo "Tiki" Pasillas Timbales
Michito Sánchez Bongos, Conga
Poncho Sanchez Conga
Francisco Torres Trombone, Soloist, Musical Direction
Arturo Valesco Trombone, Soloist
Paco Sanchez Conga
Pablo Mendez Violin
Donald Vega Piano, Soloist
Jose "Joey" de Leon Percussion, Conga, Vocals, Chekere
Luis Eric González Trumpet
Rene Camacho Bass, Soloist
Robert Incelli Alto Saxophone
Jimmy Branly Timbales, Soloist
Victor Baez Bongos
Jose Ramon Flores Trumpet
Johnny Crespo Percussion, Vocals
Technical Credits
Dizzy Gillespie Composer
Lee Morgan Composer
Alex Acuña Arranger
Freddie Crespo Composer
Marcelino Guerra Composer
Paul Lopez Arranger, Composer
Danilo Lozano Producer
Alfredo Rolando Ortiz Composer
David Torres Arranger
Francisco Torres Arranger, Composer, Producer, Audio Production
José Rizo Producer, Liner Notes, Executive Producer, Audio Production
Dan Blessinger Engineer, Mastering
Rosendo Ruíz Composer
Robert Incelli Arranger, Composer
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