With the release , Road Warrior, northern California trombonist, composer/arranger and educator Jamie Dubberly steps into the the roles of bandleader, and record producer as well, with an offering of afro-Cuban jazz that features many luminaries from the San Francisco bay area latin and jazz scenes and beyond, including current Santana percussionist, and world renowned recording artist/clinician Karl Perazzo, who appears on two tracks. Music from the album has already garnered accolades from noted jazz author and critic Scott Yanow (Jazz Times, Down Beat, etc), calling it “an impressive effort”, and noting that “their (Orquesta Dharma’s) brand of afro-Cuban jazz is quite infectious and succeeds both as dance music and creative latin jazz”. The nine tracks that comprise the album draw from several influences, most notably Eddie Palmieri (whose composition, “Vamonos Pa’l Monte“, is arranged by Dubberly as a tribute to the latin jazz and salsa master), Poncho Sanchez, and also trombonists Steve Davis ( whose composition “The Slowdown” appears on the record), Conrad Herwig (Palmieri’s longtime trombonist), Papo Vazquez, and fellow bay area trombonist/composer/arranger Wayne Wallace, among many others. Dubberly contributes five original compositions that range stylistically from sensual bolero, to soulful cha-cha, to intense 6/8 minor blues. Rounding out the set are two original arrangements of jazz standards, a “salsafied” take on the Juan Tizol/Duke Ellington classic “Caravan”, and a blistering up-tempo, rhumba clave setting of Wayne Shorter’s “Footprints”.
Dubberly, originally from coastal georgia, has enjoyed a varied music career that spans many styles and genres. Currently residing in Modesto, CA, he has performed and recorded as a trombonist with artists and ensembles ranging from the Brooklyn Philharmonic, Emerson String Quartet, and Brass Ring Quintet, to the Jazz Mafia’s Realistic Orchestra, Steve Davis, Bobby Shew, Tony Vega, Tito Rojas, Arturo O’Farrill, The Manhattans, Pete Escovedo, Lyrics Born, DJ Qbert, and Travis Sullivan’s Bjorkestra, to national and international tours of many broadway productions. He moved to northern California in 2003, from the metro NYC area, and began working almost immediately with some of the top musicians and bands in the bay area. Finding inspiration from playing with a number of fine salsa and latin jazz ensembles , such as Avance, Louie Romero’s Mazacote, and many others, Dubberly decided to explore writing and arranging original material for a horn section that included trombone, tenor and baritone saxophones, and a traditional afro-Cuban rhythm section of piano, bass, timbales, congas and bongos, along with the drum set. Happily finding musicians he was working with interested in the project, in late 2007, Dubberly began to set up recording sessions, and over the span of 3 ½ years or so, this album was recorded at pianist/recording engineer Christian Tumalan’s studio in San Francisco.
The musicians appearing on the record include, in addition to Perazzo, some of the brightest percussive talent to be found in and around the S.F. bay area, including Cuban-born master percussionist Carlos Caro, multi-faceted Venezuelan percussionist/vocalist Omar Ledezma, Jr., Mexico-based percussionist/composer/ bandleader Silvestre Martinez, drummer/bandleader Brian Andres, and veteran conguero/bandleader Mario Flores. Sharing the duties as pianist are Christian Tumalan, and Andy Nevala, who are also both highly skilled arranger/composers, and bandleaders as well. Nevala’s work can be heard on the Capri label ( as leader), and Tumalan’s band “Montuno Swing” has just released their first record. Two remarkable bay area bassists appear as well on Road Warrior, Sam Bevan, and Fred Randolph. Both accomplished composers, arrangers, and bandleaders as well, Bevan and Randolph are both top call jazz and latin bassists, and contribute mightily to the sound on this record. The title track contains solo space for Bevan, while I saw you features Randolph. Finally, the somewhat unorthodox horn section combination of trombone, tenor saxophone, and baritone saxophone ( and the occasional flute) contributes a dark, powerful and distinctive sound. Along with Dubberly, veteran east bay reedman Pete Cornell (tenor sax/alto flute) , Charlie Gurke (baritone sax), and Darren Smith (baritone sax), and Ramon Garcia (flute on Vamonos Pa’l Monte) all offer dynamic, swinging solos, and a cohesive horn section sound that is unmistakably original.