Saturday, December 31, 2016

Ray Obiedo "Latin Jazz Project Vol.1"

Latin Jazz Project Vol. 1; Ray Obiedo, electric and acoustic guitar
Right off the bat, I'll remind you that I usually hesitate to review Latin jazz. As exciting and wonderfully rhythmic as it usually is, to my way of thinking it's world music and therefore, outside of my wheelhouse. But here's an exception and I'll tell you why. Ray Obiedo's concept is much more restrained and subtle than the fiery, percussive heart of this music. With the exceptions of "Caravan" and "St. Thomas", all of the remaining nine tunes are less well known, although written by some prominent composers. This is sophisticated material with some finely honed, precise solos and unforced, well crafted arrangements. Obiedo's guitar is well suited to the assignment and never goes overboard. A San Francisco Bay Area resident, he records fairly frequently, and of those that I've heard, this may be his best work to date.

Rhythmus Records; 2016; appx. 52 min.

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