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Bonilla, Luis: Twilight

Luis Bonilla was born in Costa Rica and raised in California. Besides being an incredible trombonist he is a composer and arranger and has worked with some exceptional talent including Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Bowie and the Gerald Wilson Orchestra. Bonilla is currently a member of the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, the Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra and Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy. His latest offering features the ensemble playing of Ivan Renta (tenor saxophone), Bruce Barth (acoustic piano, Fender Rhodes, Hammond C3), Andy McKee (acoustic bass), John Riley (drums, percussion) and guest musician Vincent Chancey who provides French horn on track 7.

Upon listening to Bonilla's latest entitled Twilight, it was clear right from the get go just how comfortable these musicians are working together. The compositions allow each musician the space needed to produce some truly memorable playing and none more so than Bonilla's trombone. He is a fabulous player; his shimmering notes and fabulous bursts of pure joy engulf these eight tracks without suffocating the other musicians. This is not a one man show as all these players are encouraged to show their stuff. Indeed, this is a virtuoso performance by all involved.

Many of these songs begin with the trombone as in the melodic title track with snappy Fender Rhodes and some ripping trombone with a discordant bent and the classy "Double Trouble" where drums set the slower pace and trombone leads the way amidst an undercurrent of condensed flurries of Barth's Fender Rhodes. Some other favourites include the lovely "Let It Be Said" with relaxing Hammond in the background as McKee's bass slowly pulsates across the musical soundscape and Riley's gentle brush strokes invoke relaxation and the album closing "Cork Grease" with sultry trombone and swirling Hammond.

This album is a real treat for the senses. This is a fully realized recording that all ensemble jazz players should strive to achieve. My only conclusion is that all jazz fans should absolutely love this. Released on Planet Arts Records.

Track Listing:
1. Twilight (7:14)
2. The Moon and the Sun (6:52)
3. Double Trouble (7:25)
4. Vertigo (4:59)
5. Blind Faith (4:47)
6. Let It Be Said (7:18)
7. Visions (7:54)
8. Cork Grease (7:15)

Added: November 11th 2010
Reviewer: Jon Neudorf
Related Link: Artist's Official Site
Hits: 1247
Language: english

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