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From The Heart by Hilario Duran

On From the Heart, pianist and composer Hilario Duran showcases his new 20-piece Latin Jazz Big Band.

The ten-song disc is a vibrant release that recalls the seminal jazz bands of Duran’s native Cuba without sounding like it is covering old ground. The CD is a tribute to Chucho Valdez, Ernesto Lecuona, and others who have inspired Duran. The Toronto-based Duran is assisted on the set by special guest Paquito D’Rivera, who contributes saxophone solos on two songs and a clarinet feature on "Paq Man," a song written by Duran for D’Rivera. Drummer Horacio "El Negro" Hernandez also guests on the CD. The album, however, is far from being an entirely Latin affair. The Globalis Orchestra recorded the strings in Moscow.

Although there are rich, splashy solos on each song, the focus throughout the CD falls on the ensemble. Duran clearly relishes in having this many musicians on board and creates big bold movements that incorporate elements of big band, swing and Cuban jazz. The rhythm section keeps the tempo lively and the sound rich.

Six of the songs are composed by Duran; another by his daughter, Yailen. One of the gentler moments comes on Matt Denis’ "Angel Eyes," which is sung by Dione Taylor. It’s the only vocal number on the CD with the exception of some group singing that comes on "Rumba For Chano."

Although there is a lot going on, Duran keeps everything on track. His fluid piano solos weave throughout the CD, and his love for the music is contagious.

Additional Info

  • Artist / Group Name: Hilario Duran
  • CD Title: From The Heart
  • Genre: Latin Jazz / Latin Funk
  • Year Released: 2006
  • Record Label: Alma Records
  • Tracks: Mambo Influenciado, From The Heart, Habanera In Spain, Angel Eyes, Paq Man, T’Dot Cha Cha Cha, Moon Face Again, Rumba For Chano, Blem Blem Blem, and Farewell
  • Musicians: Hilario Duran (piano), Paquito D’Rivera (alto sax and clarinet), Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez (drums), Roberto Occhipinti (bass, consiglieri), Rob Piltch (guitar), Rosendo “Chendy” Leon (timbales), Joaquin Hidalgo (congas, bongos, bata and guiro), Alexis Baro (trumpet), Alex Kundakcioglu (trumpet), Brian Okane (trumpet), Jason Logue (trumpet), John Johnson (alto sax), Luis Denis (alto sax), Vern Dorge (alto sax), Quinsin Nachoff (tenor sax), Jeff King (tenor sax), Perry White (baritone sax), Pol Coussee (baritone sax), Alistair Kay (trombone), Phil Gray (trombone), William Carn (trombone), Colin Murray (bass trombone), Dione Taylor (vocals), and Globalis Orchestra
  • Rating: Four Stars
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