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My Roots & Beyond
William Cepeda Afrorican Jazz
My Roots & Beyond
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Latin Music
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

In My Roots and Beyond, trombonist, composer, and arranger William Cepeda--member of the royal family of Puerto Rican traditional music--blends jazz and bomba y plena (Afro-Puerto Rican styles) with remarkable ease, grace,...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: William Cepeda Afrorican Jazz
Title: My Roots & Beyond
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Blue Jackel
Release Date: 8/6/1999
Genres: World Music, Jazz, Latin Music
Styles: Caribbean & Cuba, Puerto Rico, Latin Jazz
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 085365451728

Synopsis

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In My Roots and Beyond, trombonist, composer, and arranger William Cepeda--member of the royal family of Puerto Rican traditional music--blends jazz and bomba y plena (Afro-Puerto Rican styles) with remarkable ease, grace, and power. Cepeda is part of a generation of Latin players who bring their indigenous rhythms and styles into jazz, thereby creating a truly Pan-American Latin jazz. His opening "Bomba Swing" sets the tone with smooth lines (which at times seem to evoke "Summertime") over an implacable, rolling bomba groove. The arrangements are smart and richly layered. The playing is intense and precise, and throughout the music sounds fresh, rich with unexpected references and subtle surprises. "Pa' Mi Cuembe" features a rockish guitar solo and a '70s electric piano; Yomo Toro, the master of the Puerto Rican cuatro--a small, guitarlike instrument--makes an impressive guest appearance on "Ponte Pa'l Monte." "Quasi Plena," based on a traditional plena, includes dense big-band writing, a Weather Report-style piano break, and flat-out swing, and "Sara," a Puerto Rican danza, is revamped with surprising verve and humor--and it cooks. My Roots and Beyond is a marvelous surprise by an artist who bears watching as he further develops his vision. Fernando Gonzalez

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CD Reviews

A Study in Contrasts
Bruce A. Ishikawa | Marlborough, MA USA | 04/12/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"William Cepeda has come out with two new CDs on the Blue Jackel label which show, by their differences, the skill and flexibility of this fine Puerto Rican trombonist. The first, "Bombazo" by el Grupo Afro Boriqua is pure percussion driving African call-and-response singing and chants. We are treated to a glimpse of African Puerto Rico that we don't often get to hear, though the Plena and Bomba rhythms provide the bases of the music. "Bombazo" evokes images of a drum circle, playing, singing and dancing under the palms which provide shade from the tropical sun. The strong African sound is tempered only by the Spanish of the lyrics as the singer chants out a line and the coro responds in unison or simple harmony. Very beautiful... "My Roots and Beyond" by William Cepeda and Afrorican Jazz is much much more cerebral than the physical "Bombazo". We get the Nuyorican perspective of the mainlanders, "Beyond" plays a bigger part than "My Roots". Many of the same rhythms drive the music, but there the similarity ends. This is a jazz album, players in dark glasses late at night, after hours, hip, urban, cool. Horns work together in complex harmonies and apart on soaring solos. Trap drums and electric guitar provide the rhythmic underpinning. Synthesisers and Miles Davis give as much to this music as the transplanted African rhythms of la isla. Very beautiful... Each of these CDs is a worthy effort. But together they provide a vision beyond that of each alone."