Natalie Fernandez along with Zaccai Curtis & Insight have just opened a new chapter in Latin jazz with Nuestro Tango.
Brent Black / www.criticaljazz.com
From a pure vocal perspective, Natalie Fernandez may have just established herself as the preeminent Latin vocalist of our time. Zaccai Curtis and Insight proudly announce their rightful place as perhaps the most inventive Latin ensemble today. Combine the pristine vocals of Fernandez with the organic and smoldering efforts of Curtis & Insight and a new genre of Latin jazz emerges combining the intricacies of the Tango with the Afro-Caribbean back beat of the Mambo, Merengue, Guajira and Cha Cha. This is the more danceable sound coming out of San Francisco flipped to a raw riff on Tango and Latin jazz. Past attempts at bringing Tango to the forefront of Latin jazz here in the United States have been met with mixed results. With Nuestro Tango we have the Tango fused with candombe songs as well as three originals to keep things fresh and moving while never losing the authenticity of the music from Argentina and Uraguay
Natalie Fernandez is far more than just another pretty face. Fernandez is a real deal vocalist taking her western influence of R&B, Blues, Jazz, Hip-Hop and Funk and embracing these within the Nuestro Tango exploration of a new chapter in world music. Zaccai Curtis & Insight include such formidable talent as the rhythm section of Zaccai Curtis on piano and his brother Luques on bass along with the smoldering percussive pop of Richie Barshay on drums and Reinaldo De Jesus on congas. Special guests on this Latin summit include Christian Scott and poet Giovani Almonte. Upsides from a compositional perspective include "El Dia Que Me Quieras" first made popular by Eddie Palmieri while the heartfelt "My True Love" showcases the compositional talent of Fernandez combined with the melodic movement of Zaccai Curtis.
Nuestro Tango is a coming out party letting the world know Latin jazz runs deeper than the usual cast of co-conspirators and they are now on notice. Natalie Fernandez along with the band are as the great Eddie Palmieri stated, "in about two years ready to blow any band off stage." The next two years should be a joy!
Tracks: Azabache; El Dia Que Me Quieras; Adios Nonino; Afrotangojazz; Malena; My True Love; Free Me; El Viaje Del Negro; Nostalgias; Un Semejante.
Personnel: Natalie Fernandez: Vocals; Zaccai Curtis & Insight: Zaccai Curtis: Piano & Musical Director; Luques Curtis: Bass; Richie Barshay: Drums; Reinaldo De Jesus: Congas, Timbales, Bongo, Percussion; Daniel Antonetti: Timbales; Julie Acosta: Trumpet; Tokunori "Kaji" Kajiwara: Trombone; Zach Lucas: Sax.
Special Guests: Philip Dizack: Trumpet; Christian Scott: Trumpet; Orlando Vega: Bongos; Richard Scofano: Bandoneon; Giovanni Almonte: Vocals,Poetry; Obanilu Ire Allende: Panderos; Chris Sanchez: Guira.