Canto América

Canto América

by La Orquesta Sinfonietta


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Canto América

Trombonist Wayne Wallace and percussionist Michael Spiro have realized a dream with Canto America, a fantastically colorful suite performed by their 35-piece La Orquesta Sinfonietta. The group came together with support from Indiana University's Institute for Advanced Studies in order to give a musical body to the vision of representing as many aspects of the New World's polyglot musical connections and influences as possible -- particularly as it expresses itself in Afro-Latin music and jazz. During numerous trips to Cuba, they witnessed musicians of several traditions informing and interacting with one another, blurring the lines between genres. To that end, they assembled an orchestra complete with strings, reeds, winds, brass, percussion instruments, electronics, and voices. On Canto America, originals, pop, and folk standards are interwoven seamlessly. "Las Propaganda de Hoy," by Wallace and Spiro, is dedicated to the late Juan Formell of Los Van Van. They pay tribute to his aesthetic of placing strings at the forefront of everything. This is a wild meld of charanga, breakbeat, funk, son, montuno, disco, and modernist classical music. The breakdowns and trombone solo are dynamite. Not only would Formell be proud, so would Barry White. Hoagy Carmichael's "Stardust" is offered as a sweet danzon; the cha-cha rhythm presides as strings, winds, and reeds intertwine above gentle congas and timbales. But there's a twist as it transforms into a rich, sexy mambo with an electric bass and drum kit. Mongo Santamaria's classic "Afro Blue" is depicted as an elaborate celebration of the Yoruban folk tradition. Its incantatory opening chant to the orisha of wisdom, justice, and peace gradually becomes a wide-spectrum exercise in polytonal big-band dynamics (more horns and an extra string quartet were added), strutting Latin jazz, and post-bop -- without losing the folksong element. "El Medico" stitches together rhumba, guaguanco, classical counterpoint, salsa, charanga, Latin funk, and vocal improvisation with humor and sass. The traditional "El Calderon de Ogun" is rendered anything but; David Belove's bass playing is an aggressive nod to Jaco Pastorius, and his solo rides above charging piano montunos, polyrhythmic syncopation, and an aggressive interplay between strings and horns. The long "Odun's Road" is actually a suite of folksong styles dedicated to the orisha. Rich in harmonic detail, sensual in texture, but utterly lyrical, the role of chamber instruments is taken by singers who assume a primary role alongside percussion instruments. The music moves through a stylistic labyrinth with an always increasing tempo. In the second half, Wallace's trombone is both a solo instrument and a chorus chant leader. He, Spiro, and Orquestra Sinfonietta deliver something nearly peerless in Canto America. Though highly disciplined and carefully plotted, it is far from an academic exercise. Jazz improvisation and individual acumen shine through while feel and groove consciousness are paramount. Ultimately, this is more than the knowledge and practice of traditions; it is the collective expression of human imagination and heart. Brilliant.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/12/2016
Label: Patois
UPC: 0616892356349
catalogNumber: 20
Rank: 199326

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Orquesta Sinfonietta   Primary Artist
David Belove   Electric Bass
John Calloway   Flute,Soloist
Edgardo Cambon   Vocals
John Santos   Vocals
Michael Spiro   Percussion,Leader
Wayne Wallace   Trombone,Euphonium,Leader
Murray Low   Piano
María Márquez   Vocals
Cecilia Engelhart   Vocals
Joe Anderson   Trumpet,EWI
Jesús Diaz   Vocals
Tom Walsh   Alto Saxophone
Nate Johnson   Vocals
Rachel Rodgers   Flute
Colin Douglas   Percussion,Drums
Kristin Olson   Percussion,Vocals
Steven Banks   Clarinet,Bass Clarinet
Joe Galvin   Percussion,Vocals
Brady Anderson   Cello
Jeremy Allen   Double Bass,Fretless Bass Guitar
María José Romero   Violin
Mike Mixtacki   Vocals
John Sorsen   Trombone
Brennan Johns   Trombone,French Horn,Bass Trombone,Mellowphone
Jamaal Baptiste   Piano
Alexandra Signor   Trumpet
Cean Robinson   Trumpet
Lantheia Calhoun   Trumpet
Kevin Wilson   Trumpet
Richard Marshall   Trombone
Miro Sorber   Trombone
Min Ju Kim   Violin
Charlene Kluegel   Violin
Marco Nuñez   Flute,Alto Flute
Nidhal Jebali   Violin
Ethan Young   Cello
Tze-Ying Wu   Viola
Yoni Gertner   Viola
Matt Shugert   Flute
Sam Motter   Tenor Saxophone
Jonah Tarver   Alto Saxophone
Eric Juberg   Alto Saxophone
Gabe Young   Oboe
Theo Simpson   Baritone Saxophone
Tonu Maas   Tenor Saxophone
Daniel Stein   Violin

Technical Credits

Hoagy Carmichael   Composer
Gary Mankin   Engineer
Mitchell Parish   Composer
Mongo Santamaría   Composer
Michael Spiro   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Wayne Wallace   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Liner Notes
Traditional   Composer
David Bressan   Liner Notes
Bruce Raeburn   Liner Notes
Camino De Ochun   Composer
Jake Belser   Engineer
Marcus Gordon   Artwork

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