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Spirit of the Moment

Michel Camilo

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Album Review

After 20 years of developing his chops as a trio player, pianist Michel Camilo took a few years off to do other things — a solo album titled Solo and a lovely orchestral homage to George Gershwin were two results of that break. With Spirit of the Moment he returns to the trio format, and he sounds refreshed and happy to be back. As always, his style is powerfully energetic and at times ideas seem to be flying out from under his fingers almost more quickly than he can fully process them. But with the help of a crack rhythm team (drummer Dafnis Prieto and bassist Charles Flores), he manages to keep his feet on the ground and generate lots of inspiring moments. Notable among them are an all-too-brief rendition of the John Coltrane classic "Giant Steps" that sounds almost like "Flight of the Bumblebee," a lovely version of Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti," and the aptly titled "Hurry Up and Wait," a jittery and edgy uptempo original with a Latin feel. Despite his obvious affinity for faster material, Camilo also shines on the ballads: he delivers sweetly lyrical renditions of "My Secret Place" and "A Place in Time," both of them originals. Highly recommended.

Biography

Born: April 4, 1954 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Genre: Jazz

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

An exciting and high-powered virtuoso pianist, Michel Camilo came from a very musical family (all nine of his uncles were musicians). Originally playing accordion, he switched to piano when he was 16. After moving to New York in 1979, his song "Why Not?" became a hit for the Manhattan Transfer and caught on as a standard, and "Caribe" entered the repertoire of Dizzy Gillespie. Camilo, who worked with Paquito d'Rivera's band for three years (cutting an album with "Why Not?" as the title cut), recorded...
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Spirit of the Moment, Michel Camilo
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