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Album Review

In keeping with the recent trend of holding up jazz heroes for Latin listening audiences, a cause championed by Conrad Herwig and Brian Lynch in their tributes to Coltrane and Davis, Jerry Gonzalez & the Fort Apache Band offer up their talents to immortalize Art Blakey and his mighty Jazz Messengers. With some very creative renditions of Jazz Messengers B-sides, like "Crisis" done in a slinky Afro and "Madi's Smile" done in cha cha, Gonzalez shows himself yet again to be a great Latin interpreter of the jazz repertoire. There could not have been a better choice of group than the Fort Apache Band to pay the Messengers homage. They are without a doubt one of the finest Latin jazz outfits operating today, with superb balance and taste. They play as a unit, seemingly without ego, as only a group with better than 25 years under its belt could. The Fort Apache Band have always lacked the ability to dazzle audiences with virtuosity, but over the years their increasing synergy and sensitivity more than compensate. The level of refinement and restraint on Rumba Buhaina makes it one of the most listenable, enjoyable Latin jazz releases of 2005. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi

Rumba Buhaina, Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band
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