Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet Earns Third GRAMMY Nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album

WAYNE WALLACE’s INTERCAMBIO EARNS GRAMMY NOMINATION FOR “BEST LATIN JAZZ ALBUM”

 

“Wayne Wallace is a fine trombonist but a better bandleader, and an excellent conceptualist. His ingenious knack for re-contextualizing bop standards using Latin idioms, or simply splicing cultures guided by his instincts and imagination, turns the song list on Intercambio into a steady series of surprises that are each distinctively delightful… the head, the heart and the feet all get nourished…” – Britt Robson, JazzTimes

 

4-stars. “Afro-Cuban jazz that shakes, quakes and practically immolates.” – Ken Micallef, DownBeat

 

Screen Shot 2015-05-27 at 11.24.51 AMWorld-renowned trombonist, composer, arranger, and producer Wayne Wallace has earned a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for his CD Intercambio his tenth CD on the Patois label. The release, which topped the radio charts and earned rave reviews, is a soul-deep communion, an ongoing and never ending intra-family conversation between the extraordinarily rich African Diaspora cultures of the United States and Cuba (and various Caribbean cousins). The project features The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet with special guests.

This is the third Grammy nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” which The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet has earned and the seventh time Wallace — a San Francisco native now splitting his time between the Bay Area and the Midwest where he’s a professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music — has been on a GRAMMY nominated album.

“It’s an honor that distinguished peers feel that this recording is worthy of a Grammy nomination,” says Wallace. “The Quintet would like to extend its thanks to the Academy and everyone who participated in the making of this project.”

Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet_f 2015 by Grason Littles-lgIn a career spanning four decades, Wallace has collaborated with a dazzling array of artists including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Earth Wind & Fire, Sonny Rollins, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, Earl “Fatha” Hines and cellist Jean Jeanrenaud. Wallace was a driving creative force behind some of the Bay area’s most creative ensembles, including the Machete Ensemble, and Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra. One of his generation’s most eloquent trombonists, he’s been named in DownBeat polls as a leading force on the horn. Known to many as “The Doctor” for his production skills, Wallace earned a place in the 2015 DownBeat poll as a rising star producer. He is also a lauded composer and educator. He heads up Patois Records, which has released a rapidly growing catalog of acclaimed CDs, and is on faculty at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music.

The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place on Monday, February 15, 2016, in Los Angeles. For a complete list of nominees for the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards go to http://www.grammy.com/nominees

 

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Media Contact:
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Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet Earns Second GRAMMY Nomination for Best Latin Jazz Album

“An earnestly grooving statement from Bay Area trombonist Wayne Wallace…great.” — Brad Farberman, DownBeat

“Gorgeous playing dominates along with highly inventive arrangements. Wallace’s trombone shifts easily from a seductive, warm ballad style to powerful statements on uptempo tunes. Every track offers a surprise and plenty of chops to back them up.” — Marc Myers, JazzWax

 

GRAMMY Nominated Latin Jazz/JazzLatinWorld-renowned trombonist, composer, arranger, and producer Wayne Wallace has earned a GRAMMY nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” for his CD Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin his seventh CD on the Patois label. The CD, which topped the radio charts and earned rave reviews and a place on numerous top CDs of the year lists, displays all the thrilling interplay, melodic invention, and blazing improvisational flights that distinguish his music. Every tune reflects the flow of rhythmic currents between Caribbean and African-American communities. The project features The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet with special guests including 77-year-old percussion patriarch Pete Escovedo and 17-year-old rising flute star Elena Pinderhughes, plus violinists Mads Tolling and Jeremy Cohen.

This is the second Grammy nomination for “Best Latin Jazz Album” which The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet has earned and the sixth time Wallace — a San Francisco native now splitting his time between the Bay Area and the Midwest where he’s a professor at Indiana University’s Jacobs School of Music — has been nominated for a GRAMMY for one of his own projects.

“This is a tremendous honor,” says Wallace. “All the members of the quintet and I are deeply thankful for the consideration of the Recording Academy, as well as the support of our families, musical peers, and our extended family in the community. We very much appreciate your continued support.”

In a career spanning four decades, Wallace has collaborated with a dazzling array of artists including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Earth Wind & Fire, Sonny Rollins, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, Earl “Fatha” Hines and cellist Jean Jeanrenaud. Wallace was a driving creative force behind some of the Bay area’s most creative ensembles, including the Machete Ensemble, and Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra. One of his generation’s most eloquent trombonists, he’s been named in DownBeat polls as a leading force on the horn. Known to many as “The Doctor” for his production skills, Wallace is also a lauded composer and educator. He heads up Patois Records, which has released a rapidly growing catalog of acclaimed CDs.

The Grammy Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday, January 26th, 2014, in Los Angeles. For a complete list of nominees for the 56th annual GRAMMY Awards go to grammy.com/nominees

 

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Here’s what some journalists said about Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin and about Wallace:

“Trombonist Wayne Wallace and his Latin Jazz Ensemble have a well-oiled record-making machine that seems incapable of turning out a subpar album… Wallace’s trombone recalls the great trombone sections of the great Latin conjuntos, while his solos have the panache and lyrical intelligence of the late trumpeter Clifford Brown’s improvisational style.” – Jeff Dayton-Johnson, All About Jazz

“Wallace’s dazzling and spirited arrangements of both his own substantial compositions and four jazz classics help to make this album one of the most significant in Latin jazz so far this year.” – Scott Albin, JazzTimes.com

Five stars. “For the Latin jazz scene it is a pleasure to have a new piece from the brilliant composer and musician Wayne Wallace. This time around the five-time Grammy Award nominee brings us Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin, a powerful and tremendous ten-themed album where he showcases his incredible knowledge and his great playing, composing and arranging.” – Oscar Montagut, Latin Jazz Network

“Wallace… seems to have concocted the right formula to keep you moving while slipping in a little education too. Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin is an absolute joy from start to finish.” – Stuart Kremsky, Mr. Stu’s Record Room

“Yet another triumphant project from trombonist, composer, and bandleader Wayne Wallace, whose quintet continues to display a quality that is the holy grail of Latin jazz ensembles: the fiendishly difficult juxtaposition of utter tightness and rubbery looseness that makes Afro-Latin grooves possible… Highly recommended to all fans of Latin jazz.” – Rick Anderson, CD HotList

“San Francisco-based trombonist Wayne Wallace had the cojones to call his latest album Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin. That’s okay, because Wallace has the musical talent to back it up.” – Curtis Davenport, Jazz Inside

“If you have a hankering for Latin music that will set you soul on fire and cause you to dance around the house, Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin is what you want. As he has done throughout his career, Wayne Wallace hits all the right notes, ably supported by his fine Quintet.” – Richard Kamins, Step Tempest

“Horns, percussion and danceable rhythms are an essential combination for Latin jazz. Add to that stellar performances from all players, including guest musicians, and a biographical sketch of each song, and you get Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin.” – Woodrow Wilkins, The Jazz Writer

“The repertoire, instrumentation and even the generations of participants speak to the whirling, cyclical energy of the genre. A deft blend of jazz standards and originals provides the platform for Wallace’s soaring and soulful artistry.” – Jim Byers, Port of Harlem

“Wallace has been perfecting the small-combo Latin-jazz vibe for many years, and each new album is a delight. The ensemble’s 2013 release is called simply, and accurately, Latin Jazz / Jazz Latin. Once again, the group displays a mastery of the various rhythms of the Latin side of their double helix, while soulfully bringing jazz with the other strand.” – Jeff Dayton-Johnson, KUSP Featured Album August 2013

Media contact:

Media Contact:
Ann Braithwaite
(781) 259-9600
Ann@bkmusicpr.com

Radio contact:
Kate Smith

The Grammy-nominated Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet releases sizzling new Cd To Hear From There

GRAMMY-NOMINATED TROMBONIST, COMPOSER and ARRANGER WAYNE WALLACE

and his LATIN JAZZ QUINTET return with SIZZLING NEW CD “TO HEAR FROM THERE

Special Guests Kenny Washington & Bobi Céspedes

Wallace’s ¡Bien, Bien! named one of DownBeat Magazine’s Best CDS of 2010:

“4.5 Stars. A rollicking triumph of styles and genres that is fun from one end to the other.” — James Hale, DownBeat

“An accomplished arranger, educator, and composer.” — Maria Hinojosa, Latino USA

 “San Francisco native Wayne Wallace is practically a one-man ecosystem of jazz. He is a phenomenal trombonist, composer, arranger, bandleader, educator, producer, and head of his own record label. With impeccable musicianship and boundless imagination, this group takes listeners on a multicultural musical voyage to Cuba, Africa, and Latin America.” — Forrest Dylan Bryant, Jazz Observer

 

Wayne Wallace’s extraordinary musical journey continues apace with his new album To Hear From There,” a sizzling Latin jazz session that highlights the deep cultural currents flowing between West Africa and the Americas. Following up the Grammy Award-nominated “¡Bien Bien!,” which DownBeat named one of 2010’s best releases, the San Francisco trombonist, arranger and composer once again showcases his stellar quintet, featuring Murray Low (piano), David Belove (bass), Michael Spiro (Latin percussion and percussion arrangements), and Paul van Wageningen (trap drums) on a program of finely wrought originals and beloved standards. The CD will be released on January 18, 2011 on Wallace’s Patois Records.

Exploring Afro-Cuban folkloric themes, old-school descarga jams, clave-driven Latin jazz, hard-hitting timba, dance-inducing cha cha cha and more, the quintet puts a distinctive Bay Area stamp on an impressive array of rhythms. Incisive, often inspired solos abound, but Wallace designed the album as a forum for creative communion, and the musicians use the freedom to engage in a series of charged encounters.

“One of the things I love about the quintet is that there’s a constant conversation happening, whether between two or five players,” Wallace says. “I wanted to really highlight that. The band contains a lot of cumulative experience in a tremendous array of genres and styles. We’ve honed a unique sound, and I wanted to bring that to the forefront in the songs I composed and arranged, while giving plenty of space so people can hear what great musicians they are.”

Wallace’s passion for Cuban music is evident throughout To Hear From There.” The album opens with “La Escuela,” an original composition he dedicates to Havana’s vaunted conservatory La Escuela Nacional de Las Artes, where he studied in the 1990s. Fluidly phrasing over the 4/4 groove, Wallace sounds like clave runs through his blood. He also pays tribute to numerous musicians who have inspired him. He dedicates the ebullient “Los Gatos” to Pete Escovedo, capturing the sense of joy and terpsichorean pleasure the percussionist/bandleader always brings to the bandstand. “¡Bebo Ya Llego!” evokes the elegance and vitality of Cuban piano patriarch Bebo Valdes, still going strong at 92. And “Philadelphia Mambo,” the album’s torrid closer, is a typically inventive piece by El Rey, Tito Puente, with whom Wallace performed and recorded.

“The comparisons between Puente and Ellington are apropos,” Wallace says. “Tito sat between two worlds as an entertainer and an artist. People sleep on him as a writer. I arranged ‘Philadelphia’ so it’s more of a jazz vehicle. I hear what Miguel Zenon and Danilo Perez are doing, and I really like what’s happening with contemporary Latin jazz, where the blending of the styles is being integrated more and more. This is another tune where you could really hear the percussion interplay.”

Never shy about sticking up for his horn, Wallace shares the spotlight on his ravishing “Serafina Del Caribe (La Mesenjera)” with three guest trombonists: longtime Santana sideman Jeff Cressman, his daughter, Natalie Cressman, who’s already a well-traveled pro at 19, and Dave Martell, a versatile Bay Area veteran with a vast resume. More than a tromboneapolooza, the piece requires encyclopedic rhythmic command, weaving together a pan-Caribbean feast of timba, songo, blues, guaguanco and swing.

Two brilliant vocalists also make essential contributions. The soul-drenched jazz singer Kenny Washington, a rising star who made a memorable appearance on “¡Bien Bien!,” returns for a thrilling rendition of trombonist Juan Tizol’s Ellingtonian classic “Perdido.” And Cuban-born maestro Bobi Céspedes delivers a definitive version of Moises Simon’s enduring standard “The Peanut Vendor” (El Manicero).  Wallace notes that his relationship with Céspedes dates back decades to the formative years he spent in the Bay Area’s pioneering Cuban folkloric ensemble Conjunto Céspedes.

“Working with Bobi is a chance to honor what I learned in that group,” Wallace says. “When I went to Cuba I met her family there. All that deepens the music. It was great to have her on the record. She was very professional, very serious about getting it right.”

Each track offers a different view of the band’s (and Wallace’s) strengths. On “Ogguere,” the quintet offers a ravishing rendition of an Afro-Cuban lullaby, a gentle melody that inspires a particularly lyrical solo by Wallace.

The tune concludes with an infectious 6/8 groove powered by Spiro’s masterly bata work, suggesting that once the baby’s asleep, the parents are ready to play. Equally beautiful is Wallace’s arrangement of J.J. Johnson’s classic ballad “Lament.” Investing the pleasingly lugubrious melody with palpable ache, he offers a heartfelt homage to the trombone’s greatest modern champion. The quintet summons a different kind of soul on “Yemaya (The Seven Seas),” a dynamic prayer for the powerful matriarchal Yoruban ocean deity. As the band chants a surging coro in praise of the goddess, who is worshipped across the African diaspora, the piece alternates time signatures, evoking the realms of earth and sea. It’s a bravura performance grounded in Spiro’s deep knowledge of the Afro-Cuban religion of Santaria, information that suffuses everything the band plays. Seamlessly blending the sacred and secular, the quintet is both a steadily working ensemble and an on-going sonic laboratory, where the players constantly convene to share new insights.

“We really want it to sound like a group,” Wallace says. “We take that extra time, not only on gigs, but in the studio. I remember hearing Herbie Hancock talk about Miles Davis’ second great quintet, and how they spent so much time talking about music, and it translated on the bandstand when they played. Each of us, individually keep growing. We all teach. We’re always getting new information.”

In a career spanning nearly four decades, the musically multilingual San Francisco native has collaborated with a dazzling array of artists as a composer, arranger, first-call freelancer and studio ace, including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Celine Dion, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Earth, Wind & Fire, Sonny Rollins, Pearl Bailey, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, Earl “Fatha” Hines and Kronos Quartet cellist Jean Jeanrenaud. One of his generation’s most eloquent trombonists, Wallace has been named in DownBeat critics and readers polls as a leading force on the horn. Known to many as “The Doctor” for his production skills, he is also a lauded composer who received a jazz composition NEA grant to compose “Digging Up the Roots,” a three-part suite reflecting the diverse musical cultures of the Bay Area. He is also active as an educator, and his own teachers included Julian Priester, Bobby Hutcherson and Will Sudmeier. But in recent years he’s poured a good deal of his creative energy into his label Patois Records, creating a rapidly growing catalog of acclaimed CDs. While producing celebrated sessions by rising jazz singer Kristina and the amazing Judeo-Latin jazz vocalist Kat Parra, he’s released a series of brilliant albums documenting his own music, starting with the straight ahead tour de force “Dedications” and the pan-Caribbean manifesto “The Reckless Search for Beauty,” released simultaneously in 2006. With his sixth album for Patois To Hear From There,” Wallace continues to set a daunting standard as a Latin jazz visionary.

The Cuban-born vocalist and Santería priestess Bobi Céspedes summons the spirits of her ancestors with every tune, whether she’s singing in Spanish, English or the Yoruban language Lucumi. Since settling in the Bay Area in 1969, she has been a leading force in bringing Cuban roots music to the region, particularly with the celebrated band Conjunto Céspedes that she founded with her brother Luis and nephew Guillermo. She gained attention outside of Latin music circles as part of Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart’s Planet Drum and Bembé Orisha projects. With her deep, resonant voice and captivating stage presence, she’s a direct link between the new world and the old as she belts out son, rumba, boleros and Yoruba incantations. Always open to new sounds, Céspedes looks for connections between the African-derived music of her childhood and the African-American music that she absorbed living in Oakland. The styles all came together on her gorgeous 2002 Six Degrees Records release “Rezos.” Her latest album “Patakin” is a sensual session focusing on classic boleros.

New Orleans native Kenny Washington is a virtuoso jazz vocalist of the first order, with scintillating scatting technique and spot-on intonation. After a nine-year stint in the U.S. Navy Band that found Washington performing throughout globe, he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area and began performing and recording in various jazz clubs. He appeared in Roy Nathanson’s off-Broadway production “Fire at Keaton’s Bar and Grill” which ran in London and New York with a cast including Elvis Costello and Deborah Harry. He’s gained national attention in recent years through his work with vibraphone master Joe Locke, who brought Washington to New York for a weeklong run at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s prestigious Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, and featured the singer on his critically praised E1 Entertainment album “For the Love of You.” It’s a stunning performance that fully justifies Locke’s declaration: “Kenny’s one of the very greatest living male vocalists, without a doubt.”

Wayne Wallace returns with his Latin Jazz Quintet for their new release

ACE TROMBONIST, COMPOSER, and ARRANGER WAYNE WALLACE returns with his LATIN JAZZ QUINTET for their NEW RELEASE

*Featuring Julian Priester, trombone and Kenny Washington, vocals *

 “Wallace’s arrangements, populated with tightly synched, beefy horn charts and sturdy Latin percussion, are inspired…” — Jeff Tamarkin, Jazz Times

“Wallace’s band made it clear from the first note that they were here to get down. NOW… Wallace’s quintet is like an elite commando unit: lean, mean and packing some serious heat.” — Forrest Dylan Bryant, Jazz Observer

AMG Album PickThe Nature of the Beat  “…Wallace is an extraordinary trombone player and improviser, of that there is no doubt.” — Michael G. Nastos, All Music Guide

2009 Annual Critics’ Poll, Trombone Category  — DownBeat Magazine

 

Master trombonist, composer, arranger, and producerWayne Wallace is all those things, and he is increasingly on the rise. After being on the “Talent Deserving Wider Recognition” list in DownBeat’s Critics’ Poll for two years in a row, this year he was “recognized,” making it to the trombone pantheon in DownBeat’s 57th Annual Critics’ Poll. But beyond the accolades, Wallace is a dedicated musician whose love of Latin Jazz inspires him to create music that not only radiates joy but educates listeners about the many streams of North and South American musics that have flowed together to create this genre. With a formidable career that has seen him on the stage and in the studio with countless luminaries of contemporary music from all genres (Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Celine Dion, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Sonny Rollins, Pearl Bailey, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Pete Escovedo, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, Earl “Fatha” Hines and cellist Jean Jeanrenaud of the Kronos Quartet to name a few), Wallace’s light is burning bright with a growing catalog of critically acclaimed releases on his Patois label, which also supports the efforts of numerous fellow West Coast musicians whose careers are blossoming. ¡Bien Bien! is the second release of The Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet, whose debut CD Infinity was voted “Album of the Week” by Latin Jazz Corner; spent two weeks at #2 on Jazz Week’s “World Music Top 50 Charts”; and led Nelson Rodriguez of Latin Beat Magazine to declare: “Based on this CD, Wayne Wallace has become my choice for the title of ‘Musician of the Year.’” ¡Bien Bien! is an intriguing collection of three Wallace originals, a Memo Acevedo tune, and five “straight ahead” tunes that Wallace has masterfully reconfigured into extremely satisfying Latin Jazz vehicles. He and his band mates Murray Low (piano); David Belove (bass); Michael Spiro (Latin percussion and percussion arrangements); and Paul van Wageningen (trap drums), have created another tour de force, and the presence of two special guests – the legendary trombonist Julian Priester and the up-and-coming virtuoso jazz vocalist Kenny Washington – beautifully augments the cohesion of this longstanding ensemble.

¡Bien Bien! opens with the title track, a head-bopping tune by Wallace that features his signature tight horn writing, featuring Wallace with fellow trombonists Julian Preister and Bay Area favorite Dave Martell. Before he takes his own blazing solo, Wallace gives the floor to pianist Murray Low, who ably demonstrates why he is one of the most trusted names in Latin Jazz. This tune is also a shining vehicle for drummer Paul van Wageningen, another veteran of the Latin scene whose stunning virtuosity as a soloist is icing on the cake; his grooves are always rock-solid, and his break out moments are truly exhilarating. Wallace’s arrangement of Freedom Jazz Dance (Baile De Libertad) is a phenomenal transformation of this famous Eddie Harris tune, which is here treated as a Puerto Rican Bomba featuring two vocalists, Orlando Torriente and Kenny Washington. Torriente opens with a rousing incantation before Washington delivers a sure-fire, virtuosic statement of this tricky head, with lyrics by Eddie Jefferson. It is amazingly spot-on both technique and intonation-wise, and his scatting is so blistering that we understand clearly why Andy Gilbert proclaimed in the East Bay Express that “…he’s an oversize talent who can scat with the harmonic daring and rhythmic command of a bebop saxophonist.” Washington and Orriente trade fours at the end of the tune, and it burns the roof down. Adding to the temperature is a rollicking backup chorus of only six singers that make enough sound to be mistaken for sixty. On the amiable Wallace original Mojito Café, Wallace displays incredibly nimble chops and laser-like intonation.

Building Bridges is a tune by the Colombian Afro-Cuban drummer Memo Acevedo that features more of Wallace’s deliciously intricate horn writing, again covered by Wallace, Priester, and Martell, who all take excellent solo turns. In his ever-informative liner notes, Wallace explains that this tune celebrates the cities of San Juan, New York City, and Havana, which have all at one point been “… at the nexus of blending modern music styles and propelling them forward.” Thus, Wallace shows the electric intersection of Puerto Rico, the US, and Cuba in what is a truly electrifying performance. The quintet turns in an exquisitely sensual and heartfelt reading of Ellington’s In a Sentimental Mood, rendered here as a slow bolero. Wallace achieves a touchingly vocal sound with the plunger mute, and all his statements of this iconic melody are utterly heart breaking. David Belove, who trades in his electric bass for an upright here, has a standout solo full of melodic inventiveness and lyricism. Wallace’s Playa Negra is an “…ode to the town and beach of Playa Negra on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.” This is a funky, hard-grooving “cha-cha-cha” that features an explosive conga solo by percussionist Michael Spiro.

On the Ellington tune Going Up! (¡Súbete!), Wallace pays tribute to trombone giants Lawrence Brown, “Tricky” Sam Nanton, and Juan Tizol, who were dubbed as “God’s Trombones”. He’s joined by the legendary Julian Priester (a former member of the Ellington orchestra), and Dave Martell for rousing trombone section playing as well as exciting solo turns for each, with Wallace again making great use of the plunger mute. Wallace whimsically turns one of Sonny Rollins’s early be-bop tunes from 1954, Solid, into an Afro-Cuban “cu-bop” jam that recognizes the contribution this tenor colossus has made to the cause of Latin Jazz since, as Wallace writes, “St. Thomas showed us how well calypso and jazz could work together.” The disc’s closer, a brilliant re-working of John Coltrane’s Africa, is a heartfelt tribute to the late saxophonist Ron Stallings, who in fact is one of the chorus members on track #2. (Stallings also made a wonderful contribution to Wallace’s CD The Nature of the Beat as both lead vocalist and on baritone sax.) Wallace’s solo statements are impassioned, using the full compass of the horn from searing tenor to growling bass. As the tune drives towards its inexorable conclusion, it stops just short of resolving to the tonic, creating the sense of a life cut all too short. As Wallace states in his liner notes, “The search for new means of expression is a constant in music and life that occurs when we surrender in grace and embrace the unknown.” With this disc, Wallace and his quintet affirm that they have gracefully surrendered, and we thankfully embrace their work.

The musically multi-lingual San Francisco native Wayne Wallace possesses fluency in countless styles, and has worked with a staggering number of luminaries from across the musical spectrum. He is known to many as “The Doctor” for his production skills, but he is also a lauded composer who received an N.E.A. grant for jazz composition to compose a three part suite “Digging Up the Roots” that reflected the diverse musical cultures of the San Francisco Bay Area. He is also active as an educator, and his own teachers included Julian Priester, Bobby Hutcherson and Will Sudmeier. In addition, he also studied at La Escuela Nacional in Havana, Cuba, and continues to travel to the culturally rich island nation as both a student and educator. His independent label, Patois Records, has released critically acclaimed CDs by all of its artists.

Venerated trombonist and Chicago native Julian Priester has played with countless jazz masters such as Duke Ellington, Max Roach, Clifford Brown, Sonny Stitt and Dinah Washington, as well as blues and R&B artists such as Muddy Waters and Bo Diddley. He has also been a sideman on albums by Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Blue Mitchell, Art Blakey, Joe Henderson, McCoy Tyner, Johnny Griffin, and Sam Rivers. In 1961 he took part in John Coltrane’s Africa/Brass ensemble and in 1970 he joined pianist Herbie Hancock’s fusion sextet. In the 1980s he became a member of the Dave Holland quintet and also returned to Sun Ra’s band; the 1990s saw the addition of Charlie Haden’s Liberation Music Orchestra to his schedule. Priester was recently co-leader with drummer Jimmy Bennington on ‘Portraits and Silhouettes’ which received an Honorable Mention in All About Jazz New York’s “Best Recordings of 2007”, which culminated with the two appearing at the 30th Annual Chicago Jazz Festival. He has recorded six solo albums, two for Riverside.

New Orleans native Kenny Washington is a virtuoso jazz vocalist of the first order, with scintillating scatting technique and laser-perfect intonation. After a nine-year stint in the U.S. Navy Band that found Washington performing throughout globe, he settled in the San Francisco Bay Area and began performing and recording in various jazz clubs. He appeared in Roy Nathanson’s off-Broadway production “Fire at Keaton’s Bar and Grill” which ran in both London and New York with a cast that included Elvis Costello and Deborah Harry. After a weeklong run with vibraphonist Joe Locke’s all-star band at Jazz at Lincoln Center’s prestigious Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, Andrew Gilbert of the East Bay Express declared that Washington “…walked away with the audience in his pocket.” Locke later proclaimed: “Kenny’s one of the very greatest living male vocalists, without a doubt.” Washington recently released a solo CD, Kenny Washington: LIVE at Anna’s Jazz Island.

Acclaimed Trombonist, Arranger, and Composer Wayne Wallace Returns with Infinity

ACCLAIMED TROMBONIST, ARRANGER, and COMPOSER WAYNE WALLACE

RETURNS WITH INFINITY, AVAILABLE NOVEMBER 11 on PATOIS RECORDS

*Featuring vocalist Jackie Ryan and flutist/vibraphonist Roger Glenn*

“Trombonist” and “Rising Star Producer” — DownBeat Magazine, 2008 Critics Poll

 “The Nature of the Beat bursts with brassy joy and ecstatic rhythm…” — David Rubien, San Francisco Chronicle

 “No matter what or where he plays, Wallace brings not just musicianship but also that rare quality of music as the means to uplift listeners’ spirits to a higher level.” — Larry Kelp, East Bay Express

Following hot on the heels of the success of his critically acclaimed CD The Nature of the Beat (which spent two weeks at #1 on Jazz Week’s “World Top 50 Chart”) the musically multi-lingual Wayne Wallace returns with Infinity, a disc that features his Latin Jazz Quintet. There is no stopping this first-call trombonist, arranger, producer, and composer whose fluency in countless styles has brought him to work with a staggering number of luminaries from across the musical spectrum. In Downbeat’s 2008 Critics Poll, he was not only championed as one of the top trombonists of the year, but was also named a “Rising Star” producer.

Infinity, Wallace’s fourth production on Patois Records, sparkles with the same signature energy that infuses all his work. Once again, Wallace has put together a fascinating collection of originals, standards, and Latin jazz classics, showing the how these genres interconnect to create a quintessentially American music. Wallace’s virtuosity on the horn really shines on this disc, and his masterful compositions and arrangements give everyone else a chance to cook as well. He and his band mates (Murray Low, piano and keyboard; David Belove, bass; Michael Spiro, Latin percussion and percussion arrangements; Paul van Wageningen, Trap drums) are all venerated masters of Latin music and Latin jazz. They’ve collaborated consistently for five years, and the cohesion of the ensemble is apparent in every track, from the tightness of the groove on Wallace’s red-hot Songo Colorado, to the laid-back spaciousness given to the gorgeous ballad Memories of You. Though this is technically a small group setting, the Quintet has an incredible fullness and complexity of sound. Wallace augments the group with a chorus on two tunes, and creates further big-band sonorities on a number of tracks by honoring the great trombone groups of Conjunto Libre, J.J. Johnson and Kai Winding, and Orquesta Revé, most notably on the originals Songo Colorado and TBA. Amazingly, Wallace is playing all the parts!

Acclaimed vocalist Jackie Ryan and legendary flutist/vibraphonist Roger Glenn make stellar contributions as the album’s special guests. Ryan’s appeal was described by Billboard Magazine as “[bridging] the gap between both geography and generations,” and in this she is a perfect partner for Wallace. She deftly interprets his joyful arrangement of the Gershwin classic Love Walked In, opening the song with touching poignancy but shifting to ebullience as the arrangement crackles to life with the optimism expressed in the words.  On Close Your Eyes she is playfully seductive. Glenn, recognized as one of the master flute and vibraphone players of the world, has performed with such giants of jazz and Latin music as Dizzy Gillespie, Mongo Santamaria, Herbie Mann, Cal Tjader and Rosemary Clooney. A New York native, he got his start listening to his father, Tyree Glenn, play trombone and vibraphone with Cab Calloway, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong. On Wallace’s dance floor-worthy Cha-Cha De Alegria, he astounds and swings hard on both instruments.

For the melody of the Jovino Santos Neto tune As Cores Da Menina (The Colors of a Girl) Wallace trades in his trombone for melodica, and wonderfully evokes the innocence of youth. The group shifts gears and stretches out for Straight Life/Mr. Clean, a Latin Funk rendition of Freddie Hubbard’s “Straight Life” that segues seamlessly into “Mr. Clean” as an outro. The disc’s title track is inspired by Pablo Neruda’s Sonnet XLIV which includes the lines “I love you in order to begin to love you, to start infinity again and never to stop loving you…” Wallace’s enduring love of Afro-Cuban music and Jazz has led him to create another incredible musical offering that brings joy to our hearts.

San Francisco native Wayne Wallace has a long and distinguished resume that includes work with a wide range of musicians including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Stevie Wonder, McCoy Tyner, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Earth, Wind, & Fire, Sonny Rollins, Pearl Bailey, Tony Williams, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Pete Escovedo, Celine Dion, Los Van Van, John Lee Hooker, Earl “Fatha” Hines, Chris Isaak, Con Funk Shun, and cellist Jean Jeanrenaud of the Kronos String Quartet, to name just a few.

While he is known to many as “The Doctor” for his production skills, Wallace is also a lauded composer who has received grants from the N.E.A., the Zellerbach Foundation, and the San Francisco Arts Commission. His work as an educator has brought him to institutions such as Stanford University, UC Berkeley, and San Jose State University, as well as workshops in Europe and Cuba. His own teachers included Julian Priester, Bobby Hutcherson and Will Sudmeier. He also studied at La Escuela Nacional in Havana, Cuba, and continues to travel to the culturally rich island nation as both a student and educator. His independent label, Patois Records, has released critically acclaimed CDs by Wallace as well as Kat Parra and Alexa Weber Morales.

Pianist Murray Low is a veteran of the Bay Area jazz scene whose multi-faceted career has included both local and international performances with Tito Puente, Poncho Sanchez, Nestor Torres, Orlando “Maraca” Valle, Bob Mintzer, Clark Terry, Benny Golson, John Patitucci, George Duke, Bob Sheppard, and John Handy.  After developing a keen interest in Latin jazz, salsa and Afro-Cuban music, he established himself as one the Bay Area’s premier pianists in that genre. In addition to his work with Wallace, he is the regular pianist for the Pete Escovedo Orchestra, John Calloway, Jesus Diaz y su QBA, and Grammy-nominated John Santos’ Machete Ensemble. He has also collaborated with Latin jazz giants Ray Vega, Nestor Torres, Maraca, and Andrea Brachfeld.

David Belove is the Bay Area’s most prominent Latin and Brazilian bassist. He has recorded, performed or toured with Pete and Sheila Escovedo, Tito Puente, John Santos and the Machete Ensemble, Rebeca Mauleón, Edgardo Cambon y Candela, Rolando Morales, Homenagem Brasiliera, and Wayne Wallace. David has also worked with jazz artists including Joe Henderson, Blue Mitchell, Eddie Harris, Max Roach, Dizzy Gillespie, Larry Coryell, Louis Bellson, Mark Murphy and Pat Metheny.

Michael Spiro is an internationally recognized percussionist, recording artist, and educator in the Latin music field. He has performed on thousands of records, co-produced and played on several instructional videos for Warner Bros. Publications, and produced seminal recordings in the Latin music genre. He’s worked with such diverse artists as David Byrne, Cachao, The Caribbean Jazz Project, Ella Fitzgerald, Gilberto Gil, Giovanni Hidalgo, Toninho Horta, Bobby Hutcherson, Dr. John, Mark Levine, Machete Ensemble, Bobby McFerrin, Andy Narell, Ray Obiedo, Chico O’Farrill, Eddie Palmieri, Carlos Santana, Grace Slick, Omar Sosa, Talking Drums, Clark Terry, McCoy Tyner and Charlie Watts and is a frequent visiting artist at universities worldwide.

A native of Amsterdam, drummer Paul van Wageningen has long made the Bay Area his home, and his constantly in-demand rhythm section skills have brought him to work with Stan Getz, Machete Ensemble, Gonzalo Rubalcaba, Pete Escovedo, Ray Obiedo, Mark Levine, and many others.

Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet Releases Fourth Album, Latin Jazz – Jazz Latin

 

Five-Time Grammy Nominee Trombonist/Composer Wayne Wallace Revamps Traditional Cuban and Caribbean Sounds with Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin

Featuring Percussion Greats Pete Escovedo and Michael Spiro, Violinists Mads Tolling and Jeremy Cohen and 17-Year-Old Flute Star Elena Pinderhughes

More than a bit of word play, the title of trombonist/composer Wayne Wallace’s revelatory new CD Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin represents the cyclical sensibility that animates his music. Every tune reflects the inexorable flow of rhythmic currents between Caribbean and African-American communities, a diaspora communion responsible for unprecedented creative ferment. An invaluable creative catalyst on the Bay Area music scene since the 1970s, the five-time Grammy Award nominee is revered as an educator, player, arranger, and producer with his label, Patois Records. Due out on June 4, 2013, Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin, is Wallace’s seventh Patois release, and the album displays all of the thrilling interplay, melodic invention, and blazing improvisational flights that distinguishes his music.

Rather than the work of impersonal forces, the Latin jazz/jazz Latin connection that Wallace celebrates depends upon the generational transmission of essential aesthetic truths, reflected here so beautifully by the presence of 77-year-old percussion patriarch Pete Escovedo and 17-year-old rising flute star Elena Pinderhughes. The album is built upon Wallace’s superlative rhythm section featuring pianist Murray Low, bassist David Belove, percussion maestro Michael Spiro and drummer/ percussionist Colin Douglas. With the exception of Douglas, who takes over for the late, beloved drummer Paul van Wageningen, it’s the same cast that joined Wallace on all of his previous Patois releases. What’s different is that he’s exploring a distinctive Cuban sonic palette with an emphasis on flutes and violins instead of hard-charging brass (though horn players get plenty of space too).

Featuring violin heavyweights Mads Tolling, who earned two Grammy Awards for his work with Turtle Island Quartet, Tregar Otton, and Jeremy Cohen (a multiple Grammy Award nominee with his celebrated Quartet San Francisco), and flutists Mary Fettig and Elena Pinderhughes, Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin explores the wide conservatory-honed streak that’s shaped Cuban music since the emergence of danzón in the 19th century.

The idea of bringing the flutes to the foreground, space they rarely occupy in jazz but where they continue to shine in popular Cuban ensembles, first occurred to Wallace via a commission he received from San Francisco’s De Young Museum and Intersection for the Arts to write a chamber jazz piece. He developed some music incorporating flutes and violins into his working quintet and “the response was phenomenal,” he says. “I knew we had something that people could relate to without even knowing what it was. The sonorities of the flute and violin takes the band to a different place, with softer dynamics and a whole new range of textures.”

In many ways the album reflects the enduring inspiration Wallace gathered over several trips to Cuba in the 1990s, experiences that opened up numerous other doors to Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and beyond. “Cuba’s influence was so pervasive, I was able to see how it resonated and it got me into music and culture of other countries. It was a foundation for me, a bottomless well you can keep going back to studying. This album is another facet of that experience, as I was blown away by the Havana Symphony, by how hard they swung. With their European classical education, Cubans really appreciate flutes and violins, which have been at the center of so much of their popular music.”

The album opens with Wallace’s “¡A Ti Te Gusta!” a tune that beautifully balances traditional charanga instrumentation with a contemporary songo groove. The piece offers the new voices a chance to stretch out, particularly Pinderhughes, the Berkeley High standout who is already working regularly around the Bay Area.

Always an imaginative arranger, Wallace transforms several jazz standards with new rhythmic settings, such as the Ellingtonian classics “Things Ain’t What They Used To Be,” which combines a righteous blues shuffle with a forceful 6/8 Afro-Cuban Abakua beat that comes directly from southern Nigeria, and a version of “Prelude To A Kiss” that he transforms into an elegant danzón (with a touch of soaring bolero). Coltrane’s infamous harmonic steeplechase “Giant Steps” turns into a buoyant carnival rave up that culminates with a stirring tenor solo by Masura Koga, another rising force on the Bay Area scene. Just as audacious is Wallace’s bomba-ized version of Monk’s “I Mean You,” which sounds like it was written for the surging Afro-Puerto Rican groove.

While Wallace’s beautiful, highly expressive trombone work is featured throughout, he designed the album to showcase Bay Area treasures. On “La Habana,” Pete Escovedo steps out on timbales, while the jazz/Latin workout “Melambo” is dedicated to reed expert Melecio Magdaluyo. The album closes with “Pasando El Tiempo,” a piece featuring veteran flutist Mary Fettig that highlights the inextricable bond between Afro-Cuban rhythms, swing, and the dance floor.

“We all come out of dance tradition,” Wallace says. “When I was studying under Juan Formell and Chucho Valdés, they emphasized dancing as an integral part of Afro-Cuban music. Ellington and Armstrong came out of dance. That’s where we came from, and I like honoring that.”

Wallace’s integral role in the Bay Area’s Latin music scene is front and center on a new two-CD compilation  iSalsa de La Bahia!, which is due out on Patois on August 6, 2013. The album developed out of Rita Hargraves’ documentary The Last Mambo, a film due on Patois in early 2014 in which Wallace plays a central role as musical advisor. Tracing the scene’s development from Cal Tjader and the Escovedo Brothers, the film and album feature signature Bay Area artists such as John Santos’s Machete Ensemble, Edgardo Cambon’s Candela, Jesus Diaz y QBA, and Anthony Blea.

It’s difficult to overstate Wallace’s role on the Bay Area scene. In a career spanning four decades, the musically multilingual San Francisco native has collaborated with a dazzling array of artists as a composer, arranger, first-call freelancer and studio ace, including Count Basie, Ray Charles, Joe Henderson, Carlos Santana, Lionel Hampton, Earth Wind & Fire, Sonny Rollins, Aretha Franklin, Tito Puente, Lena Horne, Stevie Wonder, John Lee Hooker, Earl “Fatha” Hines and cellist Jean Jeanrenaud. He was a driving creative force behind some of the era’s most creative ensembles, including the Machete Ensemble, and Anthony Brown’s Asian American Orchestra.

One of his generation’s most eloquent trombonists, he’s been named in DownBeat polls as a leading force on the horn. Known to many as “The Doctor” for his production skills, Wallace is also a lauded composer and educator (his own teachers included Julian Priester, Bobby Hutcherson, and Will Sudmeier at Havana’s La Escuela Nacional). In recent years he’s poured a good deal of his creative energy into Patois Records, creating a rapidly growing catalog of acclaimed CDs, starting with 2006’s  straight-ahead tour de force Dedications and the pan-Caribbean manifesto The Reckless Search for Beauty. Latin Jazz/Jazz Latin is the latest step on a creative journey that continues to reveal startling beautiful musical terrain, territory explored by few other artists.

 

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