Beautiful As The Moon is a very personal statement from the band--all of the music comes from the band members or is inspired by their families and their influences. The title tune comes from a song Bobby’s grandfather sang to his young grandson. Originally performed in the once thriving Yiddish theater, the song was one of the best known anthems of New World Yiddish culture. It blends seamlessly with the Mapaye rhythm from Puerto Rico, and the Afro Latin Jazz treatment of Bobby’s arrangement.
Bobby dedicates an original composition to his grandfather called Pop Moish. The quirky nature of the tune with its changes of rhythm mirrors “Pop’s” personality. Violinist/trombonist,Danny Weinstein contributes the original Fiddlunky to reflect the violin’s flirtation with funk rhythms. He also gives us an arrangement of a tune by his well known uncle, Mark Weinstein, Just Another Guajira.
Reedman, Pablo Calogero, contributes Mi Santiaguito, a moody, slow, polyrhythmic tune dedicated to his son Santiago. Former band mate Frank Fontaine wrote Buena Gente in collaboration with Wilson “Chembo” Corniel, an extended band family member. Bobby also gives us Early Morning Song, a swinging Mambo Jazz piece, with a melody that came to him in a dream. Rounding off the CD, the band includes songs written by some of their important influences, three titans of modern music--Thelonius Monk, Armando Peraza, and Herbie Hancock.
With all but one song recorded at the Saville Theater, San Diego City College for a live concert on KSDS Jazz88 radio in San Diego, this is an excellent opportunity to experience some great Latin Jazz live without any edits or tricks so common on many studio produced sessions where the music is recorded overdub by overdub. Not here, this is the real deal--seasoned Jazz and Latin Jazz musicians running risks to create great art, passionate rhythms and beautiful melodies resulting in music that is as beautiful as the moon.