by Philip Booth
Try wrapping your head around the range of sounds heard on the third and most ambitious disc from the fast-rising Los Hombres Calientes. You might find yourself hopelessly hooked on the intensity and beauty of the eclectic exchanges going on. It’s a jazz-meets-global music party of major proportions. Percussionist Bill Summers, trumpeter Irvin Mayfield and crew (with drummer Jason Marsalis replaced by the extraordinary Cuban-born Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez) take this movable feast of African-derived music all over the world — literally. The group recorded at home in New Orleans as well as in port cities in Cuba, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic. Creative post-bop informs “Brother Runnin’” and “Brother Gettin’ Caught.” Crescent City street brass meets modern jazz on the bracing “New Second Line (Mardi Gras 2001),” and reggae riddims and textures anchor “Jah Rastafari” and Bob Marley’s “I Shot the Sheriff.” The lightness and grace of Brazilian music define “Fantizias De Samba” and a suite allying Antonio Carlos Jobim’s “Corcovado” with “Nocturnal Low Moan.” Soul jazz colors “New Bus Stop (For Curtis Mayfield),” and pieces such as “Foforo Fo Firi,” and “El Negro Part 2” are pure Havana. African music and funk rain down elsewhere. The band’s core members, including bassist Edwin Livingston, pianist Victor “Red” Atkins and percussionist-singer Yvette Summers are joined by a cavalcade of grade-A guests — Irakere, Kermit Ruffins, Delfeayo Marsalis, Michael Ray, Coolbone, Phillip Manuel, and members of Cuba’s Irakere, the Crescent City’s Rebirth Brass Band and Jamaica’s Burning Spear. Vol. 3 is an early contender for jazz disc of the year.
E-mail Philip Booth at email@example.com.