Afro Bop Alliance is an exciting Latin Jazz septet from Annapolis Maryland, which performs throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. These talented musicians always thrill audiences with their infectious polyrhythmic grooves, harmonic colorings, and improvisational flights.
Una Más is an outstanding set of Latin jazz from the D.C. area's finest Latin big band. The band makes use of surprisingly complex arrangements of largely new compositions, both Latin pieces transformed into somewhat jazzier arrangements (as in the opening "Golpe de Cumaco") and jazz pieces given a Latin flavor (as in main arranger Vince Norman's "El Otoño"). Rounded out with a few Latinized classic pieces from the likes of Cal Tjader and Benny Golson, the band swings strongly through a variety of Afro-bop, post-bop, and modern Latin jazz realms. The key here isn't just in the arrangements, though. It's in the performances, with the group displaying much of what separates a modern big band from a classic-styled big band -- an ability to create large-scale fanfares and harmonies as a group, but to back down and allow long solos to shine. It's in those solos -- those periods of contrapuntal wanderings, those blasts of brass that punctuate the bridges -- that the band really shines. They work together closely, but when they combine their power, and especially their brass, for both explosions and explorations, they find a special sort of ground. ~ Adam Greenberg
The band's influences come from the musical styles of the many different cultures which come together under the umbrella of "Latin" or "Latin Jazz." Afro Bop's focus is to blend all of these wonderful Latin styles and musical traditions with each member's jazz experiences to forge their own sound. Currently the group consists of bandleader and percussionist Joe McCarthy, pianist Harry Appelman, saxophonist Luis Hernandez, Tim Stanley on trumpet & flugelhorn, bassist Tom Baldwin, Victor Provost on the steel pan, and saxophonist Vince Norman.
At the 9th Annual Latin Grammy Awards, Afro Bop Alliance was awarded a Grammy for Best Latin Jazz Recording for their 2008 album, Caribbean Jazz Project - Afro Bop Alliance featuring Dave Samuels. This same album was also nominated for "Best Latin Jazz Album" at the 51st Annual Grammy Awards. In February 2007, Afro Bop Alliance was presented the "Best Latin Recording" award by the Washington Area Music Association (WAMA) for their 2006 recording, "Camino Nuevo". Other WAMA awards include 2010 Best Latin Ensemble and 2011 Best Big Band Recording-Una Mas. Their music has received critical acclaim worldwide.