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Time Was - Time Is

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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.

Customer Reviews

Thank you Les Davis

I picked this up on Sirius. Les Davis, the best Jazz DJ, turned me on to it. I am not usually into horns, but this stuff is like silk. I am impressed with the tight compositions and extremely well executed musicianship. Each player adds to the whole, here. I am more likely to favor Bill Evan and Bud Powell when paying money for Jazz, but I would recommend this. Ray has something original here...

Time Was-Time Is

This is an excellent album. As a fan of Ray Barretto I can honestly say this album is just as wonderful as his earlier jazz album "The Other Road" way back when with the Fania record label. "Time Was-Time Is" has a heavier Afro-Cuban Jazz influence with elements of Hard Bop which are definitely signature of Barretto. The horn arrangements are tight and smooth. The use of the sax and trumpet definitely show elements and influence of Art Blakey's style and sound typical of his Jazz Messengers. Barretto has always been known for using the trumpet as a forefront in his bands, and the trumpet player on this album is clean and crisp. The percussion and drumming on this album is fantastic. I am telling you, check this album out. It is truly awesome. "Que Viva La Musica".


Born: April 29, 1929 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Salsa y 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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