The most memorable occasions were witnessing the awesome flute playing of Rowland Sutherland and his electrifying band Mistura which was filled with a lot of stars from the London Latin and jazz scene. It was such a wonderful combination of Brazilian and jazz sounds filling the room. A horn frontline that featured such exspressive, muscular and colourful flute moments amidst the vibrantly rich trumpet and trombone lines. And as if that wasn't enough the rhythm section laying down some incredibly infectious grooves. They played some familiar tunes by the likes of Mongo Santamaria and Airto as well as a number of originals by the band leader which I hadn't heard before but they felt as if I had known them for a long time. It was so refreshing to hear this band as the jazz, for once, in this kind of setting, was really strong and upfront yet the grooves were so full of dance.
So you can imagine the joy I felt when I discovered that Mistura had just released an album in January 2003. I literally rushed out to get my copy and low and behold it now seems the band have reached an even higher plain. Everything I had experienced with this band was still there and more. All the tracks flow seemlessly from one to the next as though taking you on a journey to another place. Pure escapism! From glowing jazz funk to batucada processions to samba jazz. Atmospheric jazz fusion, Amazonian rainforest inspirations and partido alto sounds alla Tania Maria through to a climatic, true club vibed sea of Brazilian and Latin sounds.
Of the seven tracks the final four are live and are certainly generous in length. The players, whom I've noticed from my own personal record collection and gigs I've seen, have worked with Dom Um Romao, Airto, Eddie Palmieri, Incognito, Tito Puente, Red Snapper, Lauryn Hill and Olodum. Players such as Rowland Sutherland (flute), Richard Ajileye (percussion), Joe de Jesus (trombone), Byron Wallen (trumpet), Fayyaz Virji (trombone) and Kevin Robinson (trumpet, flugelhorn).
This album has a classic feel to it already in my view. If you like your jazz filled with warmth and excitment with some tantalising grooves I strongly recommend that you get your copy Now.