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Smith, Joel LaRue: The Motorman's Son

This is the story of a father and son and a relationship built on love an trust. In the 1940's Joel's parents moved from New Orleans to New York City where his father was a subway motorman. His Father's life would have a profound influence him both as a pianist and composer. Joel LaRue Smith's resume is extensive and too long to list here as his accomplishments are many. He released his debut album September's Child in 2008 and is back with a new album titled The Motorman's Son, a homage to his father. The band consists of Joel LaRue Smith (piano, composer, arranger), Charles Langford (alto saxophone), Carlos Averhoff, Jr. (tenor saxophone), Jeff Galindo (trombone), Takahide Watanabe (trombone), Flavio Lira (bass), Tiago Michelin (drums) and Wilson "Chembo" Corniel (tumbadoras).

On The Motorman's Son Smith explores Afro/Cuban jazz with gusto and aplomb. He proves to be an excellent pianist, very fluid and melodic making these nine tracks easy to get right away. That is not to say the music lacks complexity as that is not the case at all. It really speaks to the talent of this band which comes to the fore on the disc's first two tracks "The Seed" and a fabulous rendition of the Dizzy Gillespie classic "Manteca". The former is an upbeat jazz track with scintillating percussion and fine sax and trombone. The latter features an exceptional groove and furious trombone play. For something a bit more mellower "Reverence" is worth hearing for its lovely piano intro before the pace picks up turning into a snappy jazz track. Another highlight are the sax and trombone workouts in Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti", another riveting cover.

The Motorman's Son comes highly recommended to all fans of Latin/Afro influenced jazz. You can hear Smith's passion in very note he plays.

Track Listing:
1. The Seed (8:00)
2. Manteca (5:32)
3. Reverence (7:31)
4. The Motorman's Son (6:17)
5. Raices (7:14)
6. La Ruta Alterna (5:08)
7. The Promise (4:56)
8. Nefertiti (6:32)
9. Sin Miedo (7:26)

Added: March 14th 2017
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1275
Language: english

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