Mark Levine & The Latin Tinge


Left Coast Clave Records (LCC002)

Mark Levine, piano; Peter Barshay, acoustic bass; Paul Van Wageningen, drums; Michael Spiro, percussion and Lucumi moyaba; Jose Luis Gomez, Abakua nkame.

Among the great technical challenges facing the improvising musician is the task of infusing original and/or standard pieces with one's personal touch. Arguably, it is this ability to realize new dimensions specific to musical content that separates the artist from the technician.

This wonderful ensemble lead by the San Francisco Bay Area-based pianist Mark Levine realizes beautiful, unexplored dimensions in familiar pieces including "Effendi" , "Angola", "Sugar", "Shade of Jade", "Inner Urge", and "You're My Everything". Throughout the session, Levine consistently challenges us by introducing a stunning variety of rhythmic contrasts within definable harmonic schemes; the antithesis of the conventional Jazz "blowing" date. The exposed rhythmic figures in the title track, which is essentially a blues in C minor, are a case in point.

This is another excellent session by one of the grand masters of Latin Jazz.

by James D. Armstrong, Jr.

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