Abateria | Abateria

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United States - Missouri

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Latin: Salsa Latin: Son Moods: Featuring Drums
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by Abateria

Authentic Latin Dance and Latin Jazz influenced by Cuban Rumba and Son, 1950s and 60s era New York Latin jazz, and other traditional music and rhythms from all over Latin America and the Caribbean.
Genre: Latin: Salsa
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Oma Oma Oke Oke
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2:01 $0.99
2. Dulce Amor
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5:01 $0.99
3. Descarga
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5:45 $0.99
4. El Camello
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5:26 $0.99
5. Sad Organ
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4:21 $0.99
6. Chequeo de Sonido
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3:27 $0.99
Available as MP3, MP3 320, and FLAC files.


Album Notes
ABATERIA is a 6-piece Latin Dance and Latin Jazz band that includes guitar & tres (a traditional Cuban style guitar), upright bass, piano & organ, flute, drums, percussion, lead vocals, and 5 back-up vocalists (all members of the group sing). The songs on the album are influenced by Cuban Rumba and Son, 1950s and 60s era New York Latin jazz, and other traditional music and rhythms from all over Latin America and the Caribbean.

The opening track on this debut ablum, "Oma Oma Oke Oke", is a traditional Cuban Rumba for Ochún featuring highly acclaimed percussionist Michael Spiro (www.michaelspiro.com). "Dulce Amor" is a Cuban style Son written by singer Melania Bruner and guitarist Greg Shadwick. "Descarga", also written by Shadwick is heavily influenced by Havana's Latin Jazz scene of the 1960s. "El Camello", written by pianist Johnny Kidd, is an up-tempo, syncopated Latin Jazz chart. "The Sad Organ", another original by Shadwick, speaks to the New York City scene of the 1960s and in influenced by the entrance of the electric guitar in Latin Jazz by Manuel Galban. "Chequeo de Sonido" was recorded live in the studio on the first day of recording. This track, a first take that was made up on the spot, shows the group's pure creative and improvisational skills. The overall sound of the album reflects the diverse and varied influences that the different members of the group possess.


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Gerard W. O'Brien - JazzReview.com

These musicians...transport you to Havana, Cuba; or Rio...
When I invest in a CD I want more from it than a sound to fill dead air, I want an experience. The self titled album by the band ABATERÍA provides such an experience, it is called “transport.” But these musicians don’t transport you to their home in Columbia Missouri, they transport you way south, to down around Havana, Cuba; or Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; or San Jose, Costa Rica. For the too brief duration of the album, only 26 minutes, you can feel warm Latin breezes.

This album, the first by this two-year-old and regularly performing band, manages to capture the feel of a live performance. That feeling is difficult to describe. The album is very well recorded, but it crackles with spontaneity. The illusion of live performance is enhanced by the band’s conversational qualities. Each musician knows exactly what should be said, when it should be said and then it is said to satisfying effect.

ABATERÍA started life as a percussion ensemble playing world music and has been evolving ever since. The current line up functions as six vocalists (everybody sings), four percussionists, one bass, one piano, one organ, one flute, one guitar and one tres which allows for a very rich sound.

Jazz lost its position as America’s popular music when it ceased to be dance music and became concert music. ABATERÍA’S music definitely brings jazz back into the dance business. The band has been playing to crowds of dancers every Friday night for about a year. According to the band and the press their music has brought crowds of up to 300 repeat revelers to The Music Café in Columbia. These people come to dance.

Lead vocal duties are carried out by Melania Bruner, who was born in Costa Rica but who has lived in Missouri for almost three decades. Melania’s voice is a rare find, it is sexy, exotic, and seems to get even better with repeat listenings. Melania sings with a fluency which would lead you to believe she has never spoken any language other than Spanish. Ms. Bruner also plays flute and percussion: cow bell.

In the second track, “Dulce Amor” (bruner/shadwick) Melania’s voice drips with passion, but not melodrama. Her phrasing over the band’s rich rhythm is lush and romantic. The rest of the band’s vocal reply is completely authentic. Melania’s flute playing on this cut demonstrates expressive ability on this instrument. Not being a Spanish speaker I can’t address the linguistic quality of the lyrics that Ms. Bruner writes, but the sound of those lyrics most definitely are perfect with this music.

The Band is energized by founding member Johnny Finn, who has made several trips to Cuba to study Afro- Cuban Music. Finn is a percussionist and plays the congas, chimbales, cowbells, woodblocks and a Brazilian bass drum called a surdo.

In addition to the vocal lead of Ms. Bruner, the percussion provided by Finn and drum set operator Nathan Miller, the band now includes pianist/organist Johnny Kidd; guitarist/Tres player Gregory Shadwick; and bassist Zach Mortice. Mr. Mortice, who came to this Latin music through jazz and funk, says that this music is fundamentally different from any of his previous playing.

Yet this is not a band that has simply learned how to play “Latin” style jazz; this is a Latin Jazz Band that plays with authenticity. This is all the more remarkable because they write most of their own music. There is no demonstrated tendency to lapse into pop, rock, funk or any other style that may have comprised the past experience or the environmental music to which the majority of the band was daily exposed.

The music on the album, with the exception of the first cut, OMA OMA OKE OKE which is listed as traditional, is all original; with each song attributed to one or the other of the band members. Johnny Kidd and Guitarist Gregory Shadwick do most of the band’s composing with Melania Bruner writing most of the lyrics. Mr. Finn asserts that the music is all collaborative. On this CD Johnny Kidd composed Track 4 EL CAMELLO. Tracks 2 DULCE AMOR and 5 “THE SAD ORGAN” are Shadwick Bruner compositions and track 3 DESCARGA is a Shadwick solo. Track 6 on the album “Chequeo De Sonido,” lists Abatería as the composer.

For the purchase price of $10.00 over the internet this is an investment that will generate very enjoyable returns.

The Pitch

Abateria is completely capable of evoking the sound and feel...
For the record, local Latin-jazz ensemble Abatería hails from Columbia. No, not Colombia — Columbia. Columbia, Missouri. And the lead singer? Originally she's from Costa Rica, but she grew up in Cuba. No, not the island with all the cigars — Missouri, again. Contrary to what their geographic origins may seem to indicate, Melania Bruner and company are completely capable of evoking the sound and feel of the Latin-jazz tradition with sultry authenticity. Yet this diverse sextet of Midwestern musicians is far from content simply to re-create typical arrangements. Instead, Abatería has found a unique voice within its own compositions. These ambitions set the group apart from those of its peers who practice simple parlor-trick mimicry rather than contributing their own creative voice to the style.

Playback St. Louis

The self-titled release...is a faithful recreation of the smoky intensity emergi
The self-titled release of the six-piece, Columbia, Mo.–based Latin group Abateria is a faithful recreation of the smoky intensity emerging from the ’60s New York Latin jazz performers. Tight instrumentation, gluteus palpitating rhythms, and sultry, sensual vocals (provided by Costa Rican–American Melenia Bruner) showcase the piquant flavor otherwise nonexistent in heartland American music. Each instrumentalist contributes vocals to the album, shaping rich call-and-response sections and dense harmonic choruses. All the music is originally composed, yet stays faithful to the Latin jazz aesthetic, possibly attributed to percussionist Johnny Finn’s close study with conga conquistador Ramses Rodriguez. But it does not end there. Each instrument is performed with technique and skill, with a groove that is authentic and organic, begging the listener to jump up and form a conga line. Best of all, Abateria manages to capture some of the essence of live performance on the album, making you actually want to hear them perform, which you can do if you’re in Columbia on Friday nights at Music Café. (JA)