CD Fire Dance [Jerry Gonzalez] (CD 198720),
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Fire Dance [Jerry Gonzalez]

  • 1. Isabel, the Liberator
    2. Elegua
    3. Today's Nights
    4. Verdad Amarga
    5. Let's Call This
    6. Ugly Beauty
  • Additional Info
    Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 9258

  • Credits
    ProducerTodd Barkan

    & The Fort Apache Band.
    Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band: Jerry Gonzalez, John Stubblefield, Joe Ford, Larry Willis, Andy Gonzalez, Steve Berrios.
    Recorded live at Blues Alley, Washington D.C. in February 1996.
    Personnel: Jerry Gonzalez (trumpet, flugelhorn, congas); Joe Ford (soprano saxophone, alto saxophone); John Stubblefield (tenor saxophone); Larry Willis (piano); Steve Berrios (drums, percussion).
    Audio Remixer: Michael Semanick.
    Recording information: Blues Alley, Washington D.C., M K Crossing (02/02/1996-02/04/1996); Blues Alley, Washington DC (02/02/1996-02/04/1996).
    Photographer: John Abbott .
    Jerry Gonzales and the Fort Apache Band have an invigorating idea going, fusing the front line of bebop to the unstoppable groove of a Latin rhythm section. Trouble is, whenever they remove the Latin rhythms -- which happens most of the time on this compilation from a live gig at Blues Alley in Washington, D.C. -- we are left with a standard-issue hard bop band of the most conventional sort. Gonzales often ruminates thoughtfully in a muted Miles manner circa the 1950s, while John Stubblefield's earthy bebop tenor adds some soul to the mix, and Joe Ford contributes alto and soprano sax. When Gonzales moves over from the trumpet to the congas, some electric moments begin to emerge as he interacts with Steve Berrios on drums or timbales. Ultimately, though, this live CD does not ignite; perhaps this group could have used a seventh man, a regular Latin percussionist, to mix things up all the time. ~ Richard S. Ginell

  • Critic Reviews
    Down Beat (10/96, p.56) - 4 Stars - Very Good - "...With no trace of artifice in this mirth-making set...they deliver the Latin-influenced jazz gospel truth with sparkling radiance and explosive rhythmic flash..."
    JazzTimes (11/96, p.86) - "...a strongly improvisatory excursion....Leader/trumpeter/conguero Gonzalez keeps the tempo in the slow to medium range and his trumpet style and arrangements are distinctly Milesian....[FIRE DANCE] is heady and extremely well played."
    Option (11-12/96, p.106) - "...numbers that might start out heavily Afro-Cuban, then shift into mid-'60s Blue Note territory...then back to the Caribbean. Or vice versa. In fact, all this might happen in one chorus of a tune. It all makes organic musical sense..."
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