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Dafnis Prieto Big Band: Back To The Sunset

In my review of The Kairos Sextet I went through a bit of history of the Cuban-American drummer Dafnis Prieto. Well, he’s back this time with his Big Band’s debut disc titled Back To The Sunset. And let me just say this is indeed a big band with a total of seventeen musicians plus three special guests.

This is really an amazing cast of musicians. As you can imagine the brass instrumentation sounds impressive here, both rhythmically and in solo form. In the instrument list you may have noticed a lack of guitar but in reality I didn’t even realize that until I looked at the instrumentation. The music is so absorbing and invigorating, the rhythms and solos so delightful, I found myself completely immersed in the listening experience. Notable tracks include the upbeat and vibrant “Una Vez Más”, the understated moodiness of “The Sooner the Better” with some exceptional sax solos and underlying flute trills and the bright and exciting “Out of the Bone” with baritone sax asserting itself in a most positive way. Another highlight has to be the lovely “Back to the Sunset” where Henry Threadgill’s alto sax solo is a joy to listen to. Prieto’s playing is very delicate at times so as not to overtake the improvisers. In contrast, Prieto’s opening solo on “Danzonish Potpourri” is at a much faster pace. Trumpet, acoustic bass, soprano sax, piano and melodica solos continue the great musicianship as the musicians twist and turn through various tempos and themes. An outstanding display of virtuosity, just listen to the soprano sax workout, without forgetting the song’s core melody.

Back To The Sunset is just a superb jazz album that I can easily recommend to any fan of big band and Latin jazz.

The Players:
Mike Rodríguez (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Nathan Eklund (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Alex Sipiagin (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Josh Deutsch (trumpet, flugelhorn)
Román Filiú (alto and soprano sax, flute, clarinet)
Michael Thomas (alto and soprano sax, flute, piccolo)
Peter Apfelbaum (tenor and soprano sax, melodica)
Joel Frahm (tenor and soprano sax)
Chris Cheek (baritone sax)
Tim Albright (trombone)
Alan Ferber (trombone)
Jacob Garchik (trombone)
Jeff Nelson (bass trombone)
Manuel Valera (piano)
Ricky Rodríguez (acoustic and electric bass)
Roberto Quintero (congas, bongos, percussion)
Dafnis Prieto (drums and musical director)

Track Listing:
1. Una Vez Más (7:28)
2. The Sooner the Better (9:04)
3. Out of the Bone (9:34)
4. Back to the Sunset (7:29)
5. Danzonish Potpourri (10:11)
6. Song for Chico (7:28)
7. Prelude Para Rosa (8:04)
8. Two for One (9:16)
9. The Triumphant Journey (6:50)

Added: June 26th 2018
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 900
Language: english

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