Paquito D’ Rivera is definitely a virtuoso, mixing up classical Latin repertoire and jazz chamber music. The power of his playing comes from the sound of his soul, generating immense swing and emotions, to building a romantic tension from chorus to chorus. In "Preludio y Merengue," his clarinet sings as though Caribbean music knows no limits and it is the core of a profound lyric. When it comes to "A Night in Tunisia", Paquito makes Gillespie’s song inspiration a sweet melody in which the listener can feel "the cares of the day" vanishing. "Alfonsina y el Mar" has, as it’s origin, a melancholic song as it was the poetry of Alfonsina Estorni and her tragic life-end walking into the sea of Mar del Plata. The way in which D’Rivera arranges this track will deeply touch the heart of those who know the lyrics of this famous Argentinean song, but also those who yet do not know from which it comes. "A fuego Lento" recalls emotionally the love of Latin rhythms and D’ Rivera’s melody brings forth like a butterfly, a soft breeze of feelings to the listener.
Alon Yavnai interprets wonderful solos conjuring up the Latin influence of Central American music in the classical way he plays the piano. D’ Rivera is certainly able to take the best of Alon’s soul and the melodies seem to turn up between a sunny yellow and a wonderful orange colour, which in turn brings to mind his origins.
Cellist Frank Summer has played stringed instruments since he was a kid. This long-time member of the Turtle Island String Quartet found just the right balance between jazz and the technical way of approaching his instrument. The Grapelli music lover learned very fast how to improvise and winning audiences, by how he brings his cello to the "devant la scène" of chamber jazz orchestras. He’s an accomplished jazz musician and the perfect side man on this D’ Rivera recording.
From Santiago de Cuba to his New York home town of today, Paquito D’ Rivera has always moved audiences for more than three generations. Overall the perfection of D’ Rivera and the fact that this CD is for him a celebration, is still reminding us that Latin rhythms just don't sit there like a stone. It has to be under construction throughout all of time over and over again and always with colourful emotions. For sure, the audience will sit and listen to a beautiful and unique recording that will spread joy through any auditorium, thrilling ears through a romantic session.