Que Viva Coltrane
Conrad Herwig, Brian Lynch, Mario Rivera, Edsel Gomez, John Benitez, Robby Ameen & Richie Flores
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What more could Latin jazz fans ask for, seriously? Not only are all the players just this side of top guns, they have been playing together in the same group for just shy of ten years. An all-star lineup and the genuine synergy that comes with regular collaboration do not happen often. When they do, well, it's clave magic. Pianist Edsel Gomez's playing is sly and intuitive. Bassist John Benítez, whose Descarga in New York could be one of the decade's most defining Latin jazz records, is strong and confident. Richie Flores is the genre's most underappreciated conguero, and his playing is typically incendiary. Robby Ameen is, of course, among the most in-demand drummers on the scene, and his playing is dazzling as always. Brian Lynch has a voice all his own, and of course Conrad Herwig is one of modern jazz's most influential trombonists. This being Herwig's second go at the Coltrane songbook, the obvious choices are done with, leaving him some gems that were hidden slightly below the surface of public interest. "Lonnie's Lament" is masterfully arranged and funky enough to make your hair stand on end. "Countdown" is at times both graceful and storming. Que Viva Coltrane is a fantastic addition to Herwig's Latin body of work. ~ Evan C. Gutierrez, Rovi
Born: November 1, 1959 in Oklahoma
Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s