It's not every day that a distinguished sideman becomes a successful leader in his own right. But that hasn't stopped legendary percussionist Sammy Figueroa from becoming one of the most exciting artists in Latin Jazz today. After many years of playing with artists like Miles Davis, David Bowie, Mariah Carey and Herbie Hancock, Sammy formed his own band, the Latin Jazz Explosion. After two albums, both of which received Grammy® Nominations, Sammy and his band now present their finest work. "Urban Nature" was recorded in Miami and reflects the rich scene of Venezuelans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans and other cultures that are currently percolating there to create a whole new sound for Latin jazz. Venezuelans Silvano Monasterios and Gabriel Vivas have composed music customized just for Sammy and his endlessly inventive style of playing percussion. Guest artists such as the explosive sax master Ed Calle and the reknowned Cuban American jazz pianist Mike Orta, bring in an extra touch.
The music on this album combines humor and a classical sense of beauty with dazzling displays of virtuosity. Powerful, hypnotic cha-chas such as 'Urban Nature ' and 'Cha Cha Pa' Ti,' playful fusion jazz on 'Gufillo ', 7th Door To Your Left' and 'Funny Talk', the swinging salsa of 'Cuco y Olga' and the serenity of 'Zuliana ' and 'Queen From The South', combine to make this one of the great jazz albums of the year.