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Manhattan Mambo

4.3 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 9, 2006
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Editorial Reviews

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Hilton Ruiz is a talented pianist with a wealth of experience in both the Latin and mainstream jazz idioms. He's also adept at synthesizing the two and has frequently spiced his Latin-based recordings with such adventurous jazz players as Don Cherry and Sam Rivers. On this date he leads a nine-member group that includes four percussionists who generate complex polyrhythms and tremendous musical heat with a battery of assorted drums and bells. A strongly idiomatic front line of trumpeter Charlie Sepulveda, trombonist Papo Vasquez, and the celebrated young tenor saxophonist David Sanchez cooks over the underlying fire, but it's Ruiz himself who stands out with his rhythmic inventiveness. The group even manages to bring another dimension to John Coltrane's "Impressions." --Stuart Broomer
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 9, 2006)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Telarc
  • ASIN: B000003D3L
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #200,793 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Format: Audio CD
Hilton Ruiz was a great jazz and latin music pianist who did a lot of session work in and around NY for a lot of years, as well as many other places, too. This CD has him fronting a nine piece band, (four percussionists!) playing mambo and salsa music. The first cut is Mambo Numero Cinco, an old Perez Prado song (how could you have a mambo music album without a Perez Prado song?). It sets the tone for the rest of the CD, which sounds a lot like a Pancho Sanchez record (nothing wrong with that!). I saw Hilton Ruiz playing in the band of Rahsaan Roland Kirk back in the mid 1970's in a jazz club in Greenwich Village, it was one of the greatest live jazz shows I ever saw. He died not too long ago in a silly and foolish way, I think he stumbled on the curb coming out of a bar or something. If you like latin music, you will definitely enjoy this CD, these are great musicians.
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This CD pulses with energy! Ruiz incorporates traditional Afro-Cuban influences into his powerful rhythmic and improvisational jazz style. Along with David Sanchez on tenor saxophone and Sepulveda on trumpet, Ruiz pulls out all the stops on "Mambo Numero Cinco" - a piece frequently heard in Cuban-American weddings and gatherings. "Michael's Mambo" showcases Ruiz's rapid-fire improvisational style on the piano. Afro-Cuban influences carry "Giovanni Speaks." Less distinct are "Home Cookin'" and "Overtime Mambo" which seem like watered down swing and have a kitschy Sim City-type feel. Overall, this is an excellent CD to showcase Hilton Ruiz's unique style and incredible musical ability.
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Hilton Ruiz was superb in this album !!. You will also enjoy wonderful solos from Charlie Supelveda, David Sanchez and Papo Vazquez. Hilton dominates our caribbean rhythms but also had a unique mastery of jazz. For example in "Impressions", Ruiz explores a whole new latin dimension, while David Sanchez shows how strongly he has been influenced by Coltrane, and this is then topped by the percussion. Giovanni speaks is also a delight and a quite a percussion feat. If you didn't purchase this 1992 album when it came out, no problem there is still time to go back to it and enjoy.
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Superb example of updated mambo done in the late 90's. Superb musica for a Carribean getaway or a cold Manhattan winter in front of the stereo...which will make you wish you were on a Carribbean getaway! OLE'!
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