Tony Martinez

La Habana Vive

Blue Jackel 5026-2

Tony Martinez, flute, piano, arranger, composer, keyboards, alto sax, tenor sax, vocals; Mark Brazil, percussion, conga, guiro; Juan Carlos Abreu, percussion; Julio Barreto, percussion, drums; Mathieu Michel, trumpet, flugelhorn; Ademir Candido, guitar; Aramis Galindo, vocals; Alcides Toirac, vocals; Julio Padron, trumpet,vocals; Alejandro Paneta, percussion, conga; Cesar Correa, piano, keyboards; Eduardo "Dudu" Penz, bass, percussion; Leandro Saint-Hill, tenor sax; Mario "El Indio" Hernandez, trumpet; Alexeis Cuesta, conga; Moraima Marin, vocals; Alfredo Hechavarria, vocals; Leonel Aleaga, vocals; Arnaldo Martinez, vocals; Orlando Rodriguez, bass, percussion; Gonzalo Rubalcaba, piano.

Tony Martinez composes and arranges all the tracks on this CD - which sparkle with energy and high quality playing. Starting with "Noticias de Cuba" a good driving number that needs to be danced to; Gonzalo Rubalcaba is on good form on the piano. Perhaps the outstanding track is "Tony's Cha Cha Cha", a tribute to Emiliano Salvador, a more reflective work - delicate, softer trumpet and piano in full reign - with a splendid solo from an always active percussion section. "Funk" adds the muted, driving trumpet of Mario "El Indio" Hernandez in a duet with Martinez on tenor sax. This is a high spirited, quality CD; Martinez is an excellent composer and arranger, no doubt we shall hear a lot more from this man. If you like Afro-Cuban Jazz, this is a must.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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