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La Tierra del Fuego

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Album Review

Roy Campbell is a very flexible jazzman; depending on what a particular situation calls for, he can either get into outside and avant-garde playing or stick to swinging, straight-ahead hard bop and post-bop. The trumpeter/flügelhornist's post-bop side prevails on his second Delmark session as a leader, La Tierra del Fuego, which was recorded in 1993 but sounds like it could have been recorded for Blue Note 30 years earlier. Campbell doesn't get into dissonant outside playing on this rewarding sophomore effort, which recalls the modal post-bop albums that Booker Little, Freddie Hubbard, and Lee Morgan provided for Blue Note in the 1960s. In fact, one of the tunes, "Booker's Lament," is a moving ode to Little, who was only 23 when he died in 1961. Because Little met such an untimely death, Campbell's piece is understandably melancholy and remorseful — much like Hubbard's "Lament for Booker," which was also written for Little but should not be confused with the song on this album. Campbell also wrote most of the other material on La Tierra del Fuego, including the reflective "Charmaine," the exuberant "Straight on Up, Straight on Down," and the 17-minute, Spanish-flavored "La Tierra del Fuego Suite." Meanwhile, "Losaida" is an interesting number that successfully combines a bossa nova beat with a Middle Eastern-influenced melody. Thankfully, Campbell has sympathetic and insightful company; the noteworthy soloists include, among others, Zane Massey on tenor sax, Ricardo Strobert on alto sax and flute, Klass Hekman on bass sax, and Rahn Burton on piano. In Spanish, La Tierra del Fuego means The Land of Fire, and Campbell brings plenty of fire and passion to this consistently inspired CD.


Born: 29 September 1952 in Los Angeles, CA

Genre: Jazz

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Trumpet virtuoso Roy Campbell, Jr. was involved in a number of successful musical endeavors, including fronting an ensemble of his own known as Spectrum. He also branched out into arranging, producing, songwriting, and a bit of acting in both independent films and television. A multi-instrumentalist, he became equally adept on the flügelhorn, recorder, flute, and violin by the time he was in his late teens. In addition, he undertook the piano when he was six years old. At the age of 20, he established...
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La Tierra del Fuego, Roy Campbell
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