This is real music created by musicians who care passionately about their work. It is meant to heal, and direct energy toward self-realization and the well being of all humanity.
Percussionist and bandleader Bobby Matos has dedicated his life to playing and spreading the best Afro Latin Jazz he can. He is a veteran of many tours and recordings with such stars as Bobby Hutcherson, Tito Puente, Miriam Makeeba, Eric Gale . and others.
â€œAcknowledgementâ€, The new CD release by Bobby Matos & his Afro Latin Jazz Ensemble signals new directions and a renewed and re invented band. Latin Beat magazine writer Nelson Rodriguez says â€œBobby Matos continues to constantly re- invent himself with this astonishing gem of a recording that is highlighted not only by his compositions and arrangements, but awesome musicianship and a superb infusion of John Coltraneâ€.
This project brought together old and new friends in a collaboratively inspired collection of ten Matos original tunes with three Latin Jazz arrangements of John Coltrane classics. Bobby writes the basic tunes and arrangements but pianist Theo Saunders may re-imagine the harmonies. Trombonist/violinist (and returning member) Dan Weinstein is always adding counterpoints and moÃ±as (Afro Cuban rhythmic horn lines & riffs). Veteran Jazz bassist John B. Williams (from Horace Silver, Nancy Wilson, Benny Maupin, and more) is totally happy and at home in the middle of those throbbing Afro Latin rhythms.
Young intense multi instrumentalist Frank Fontaine Jr. burns on cutting edge tenor sax Coltrane interpretations, and flies above the Charanga montunos with his â€œtipicoâ€ Cuban flute styles. Conguero Robertito Melendez reveals his life long passion for the â€œcuerosâ€ (skins) on quinto, congas, bongo, and bata drums.
Twenty year old percussionist Jud Matos actually started playing in his dadâ€™s band when he was a month shy of his fourth birthday, and heâ€™s back full time, seriously rocking guiro, shekere, claves, and bell. Bobby is having a great time playing timbales, percussion, and arranging for what he calls â€œThe best band Iâ€™ve ever been in. If I wasnâ€™t already doing this, Iâ€™d kill for the opportunityâ€.
Also appearing on the recording as guest artists are Andy Harlow ( Salsa flutist/bandleader/recording artist), Ismael East Carlo (renowned film actor), Denise â€œChina Eyesâ€ Cook ( dancer/ actress/spoken word artist and poet), Panamanian vocalist Rogelio Mitchell, Jazz trumpeter and recording artist Elliott Caine, and Puerto Rican bassist/ bandleader/ recording artist Eliseo.
Produced by Ismael East Carlo and Bobby Matos for â€œLifeforce Jazz Latinoâ€, a division of the Jazz artists collective label Lifeforce Jazz.
Bobby Matos Bio
Bronx born Bobby Matos began playing music beating on pots and pans in Grandmaâ€™s apartment and went on to backstage informal lessons with conga drum masters Patato Valdez and Mongo Santamaria.
His first gigs were in the early Ëœ60â€™s â€œbeat '" bohemian â€œ Greenwich Village Cafes, but he soon found himself playing in every type of venue; from Bronx dance halls to Carnegie Hall, to elegant supper clubs, Central Park Concerts, Off Broadway theaters, and ËœAfter Hoursâ€ clubs in El Barrio.
He was inspired and encouraged to play timbales by Willie Bobo and Tito Puente, and in the late Ëœ60s attended the New School and Manhattan School of Music studying composition and arranging. Around this exciting time for Latin Music in N.Y., he recorded â€œMy Latin Soulâ€ for Philips Records. This recording eventually became a much prized cult classic influencing many Ëœ70â€™s and Ëœ80â€™s Acid Jazz groups on both sides of the Atlantic.
After touring and recording with artists like Ben Vereen, Bette Midler, Fred Neil, Jim Croce, Ray Rivera, Joe Loco, Miriam Makeeba, and many others, Bobby relocated to Los Angeles where he began experimenting with an Afro Cuban Jazz band where he could blend (and bend) musical elements from Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Tito Puente, Mongo Santamaria, Wayne Shorter, Eddie Palmieri, and the rich legacy of Afro Cuban music.
In the Ëœ80â€™s and Ëœ90â€™s, he recorded several albums, most notably 5 critically acclaimed CDs for Ubiquity Recordsâ€™ â€œCubopâ€ label. He also produced CDs for Ray Armando, Pucho and the Latin Soul Brothers, Dave Pike, John Santos, and Jack Costanzo. In 2004 he released the critically acclaimed "Made By Hand", a live recording on the artistâ€™s collective Life Force Jazz records,
Bobbyâ€™s newest release on Life Force Jazz records contains nine original compositions and three Afro Latin arrangements of John Coltrane compositions, along with an updated band that features power players like Theo Saunders - piano; John B. Williams - bass; Robertito Melendez - congas; Frank Fontaine - flute and tenor sax; Dan Weinstein - trombone and violin; and Bobby's son Jud on percussion. Mambo, Bembe, and Jazz Latino represent healing energy, meditation, and medicine encoded as music. When musicians listen and communicate with each other and their audience on this spiritual level, the music becomes much more than a performance.