on December 29, 2006
This is an excellent peformance from one of the greatest modern latin jazz bands of our time. The style is a real nice blend of latin and post-bop jazz styles, not just your typical jazz riffs with the usual 2/3 conga and timbale accompaniment. Jerry places equal emphasis on melody and rhythm. The music is obvious in its influences from Monk, Miles Davis, and Joh Coltrane. There are 6 tracks, and the mood of the music is genrally dark, melancholic, but beautiful. One of the tracks is appropriately titled "Ugly Beauty." Half of the tracks are ballads, with one track just horn and piano, one of my favorites. 2 tracks feature more uptempo music with the Fort Apache signature arrangements, which are very unique afro-cuban rhythm sections while horn, sax, and piano solos take place. Jerry Gonzalez switches from horn to congas. One of the more unique aspects of the rhythm section is the drumming of Steve Berrios: his switching from typical jazz drumming on the snare and ride cymbal to the cowbell and hi-hat are incredibly innovative and infectious. You will fall in love with this band right away if you get this album, and, IMO, their very best. Track 5 is one of the greatest 15 minutes of music I have ever heard, execllent solos from everyone and includes a great bass solo from reknowned bass player Andy Gonzalez (Jerry's brother), and followed by a hard core African conga solo from Jerry. This is grade A stuff, you wont be disappointed. Just dont expect it to sound like salsa music without the singing, so if you wanna dance to something, this is not for you.
on September 4, 2012
Great music always reflects who the musician/group is. Jerry Gonzalez definitely reflects who he is with his music. He grew up in the Bronx (Fort Apache is the nickname for the local police precinct), but his roots are in Cuba and he is deeply steeped in his roots.
As a child he had visits to his home by Dizzy Gillespie and other great musicians. He was influenced by the great Latin music he heard as well as the great Jazz he heard.
If you have to classify his music, it would probably be thrown in the bin with the Latin-Jazz offerings, but it wouldn't really fit. The music is more than the sum of it's parts. Yes, there are Latin elements. Yes, there are Jazz elements. There are also elements of Cuba and the Bronx. There are beautiful ballads (The Monk ballad is sublime)and Fiery, uptempo tunes that surround you with swirling, dancing rhythms.
Jerry plays beautiful Fluglehorn and Trumpet. He's a master of the harmon-muted trumpet and a master Conga player. His band has obviously absorbed all the musical elements (and of course his brother Andy, on bass has the same roots). All the band members contribute with their own unique styles in the context of the music they lovingly perform.
1. Buy this album.
2. Listen with open ears and an open mind.
3. ENJOY this beautiful music!
I think your soul will be touched and enriched by it.