Marquee sax legend Dave Liebman and soon-to-be legends Don Braden and Dan Moretti front the stellar Latin Genesis, accompanied by a rhythm section of Oscar Stagnaro (bass), Mark Walker (drums), Pernell Saturnino (percussion) and Jorge Najaro (percussion).
The seeds for Latin Genesis were sown back in 1971. Back then, young Liebman was making his first recording with legendary drummer Elvin Jones in Rudy Van Gelder's Englewood Cliffs studio. The project, called Genesis, also featured a front line of three saxes, and would yield a handful of classic tunes, propelled by Jones' orchestral drumming and the bass playing of Gene Perla. Liebman recalls that first day as "one of the high points of my musical life."
Today, Liebman with the able assistance of two of jazz's young sax lions in Moretti and Braden, and a stellar Latin jazz rhythm section consisting of Mark Walker, Oscar Stagnaro, Pernell Saturnino, and Jorge Najaro, attempts to recreate and reinvent that storied configuration. Latin Genesis, an obvious detour when considering the slight name change, features scorching Latin and Brazilian jazz, funk, melodic hooks, and solos as only these pros can play them. The collection is rich with excitement, bursting with exuberance, and colored by the accents of a truly inspired rhythm section.
Along with four of the songs from that first recording made back in 1971, the trio has written its own material combining the spirit of that original, three-sax session with a Latin jazz approach. With no chordal instrument up front, the rhythm section brings on a raw, high-energy blend of classic jazz and Latin grooves. The music feels fresh. The harmonic and rhythmic improvisations reach vibrant heights. The genesis of Latin Genesis came when Moretti, an endorser like Liebman for Keilwerth saxophones, told Liebman he had the original Genesis sessions transcribed and ready to play. Excited by the idea of revisiting the project, they settled on a Latin jazz lineup and played a few successful dates. Says Liebman: "For me as a jazz player with little experience in the Latin field, I was very impressed with the complex language these musicians use and the ability to communicate with each other in their own shorthand." Liebman also credits the bright inventiveness of the rhythm section, hand picked by Moretti, as one huge reason why Latin Genesis truly soars. "Above all, the feeling grooves and oozes with energy. With the addition of a few originals, the rounding out of the horn section with the soulful Dan Moretti and the lyrical and swinging Don Braden, I think the listener will not only get a feeling of an important recording from the jazz repertoire, but also something entirely new and refreshing."
Latin Genesis was recorded at the Sonalysts Studios/Power Station New England by Alec Head and assisted by Jon Duva, with additional tracks engineered by Dan Moretti, who also edited and mastered it with the help of Dave Correia at Celebration Sounds, Warren RI. It was mixed by Alec Head and Moretti at the Sonalysts Studios/Power Station New England and assisted by Duva.
Please email Ginny Shea for promo or to arrange an interview.