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Time Was - Time Is

Ray Barretto

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Album Review

On Time Was - Time Is, veteran conguero Ray Barretto and his Latin jazz sextet (with percussionist Bobby Sanabria guesting on four songs) are in ways the Art Blakey Jazz Messengers of Afro-Cuban jazz. While the music on this set is essentially Latinized hard bop, with plenty of heated solos from trumpeter Joe Magnarelli and altoist Myron Walden, a few tunes are revived and modernized from Barretto's earlier days including a Cuban lullaby ("Drume Negrita"), a French ballad ("Syracuse"), and an inventive transformation of the gospel standard "Motherless Child." Although this European release will not be as widely circulated as Barretto's slightly earlier Concord recordings, it is on the same high level and is easily recommended to fans of Barretto's blend of hard bop and Latin rhythms.

Biography

Born: 29 April 1929 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Salsa and Tropical

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

While Ray Barretto's congas have graced more recording sessions than virtually any other conguero of his time, he has also led some refreshingly progressive Latin jazz bands over the decades. His records often have a more tense, more adventurously eclectic edge than those of most conventional salsa groups, unafraid to use electronics and novel instrumental or structural combinations, driven hard by his rocksteady, endlessly flexible percussion work. This no doubt reflects Barretto's wide range of...
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Time Was - Time Is, Ray Barretto
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