Time Was...is timeless - long live Ray Barretto!
Manuel Pila | Miami, florida United States | 02/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Sublime, masterful, gorgeous, deeply satisfying...and now sad, too, because it appears that this will be Ray Barretto's final recording, an exclamation point at the end of a brilliant 50-year career. From the extraordinary rendition of "Drume Negrita" which begins the album, to the equally engrossing highlights "Murmullo" and "Palladium Nights," and ending with "Caper for Chris," Barretto is in fine jazzy form here. I'm especially blown away by his amazing version of the gospel standard "Motherless Child," which is as deeply moving as anything in his long and stellar list of recordings. This set is more in the vein of his Latin jazz records, such as "Portraits in Jazz & Clave," than in the tradition of his salsa albums; but Barretto's salsa albums were always jazz-inflected and bursting at the seams with intelligent razor-sharp arrangements, and his jazz was always injected with the propulsion and syncopation that is so important to salsa dancers. Like Duke Ellington and Tito Puente, he never underestimated his audience and found the way to satisfy dancers and jazz fans alike (and I suspect he would have been proud to hear himself compared to Ellington and Puente, two of his biggest inspirations.) Ray will be remembered as one of the all-time greats, and this gem is a fitting final statement from a master musician. Like Ray Barretto himself, Time Was-Time Is is simply timeless."
Beautiful and heartfelt recording.
coa1881 | New York, NY USA | 02/21/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Intriging and heartfelt. The last time I saw Ray was over the summer performing these songs in concert at City Hall Park in NYC. I was immediatly drawn to the music and bought the album. I must say that it requires quiet and an attentive mind to enjoy these selections. Once those two prerequisites are in place, this is like one of those books that you keep reading again and again. There is always a new angle to be explored.
But, of course, his conga playing is infectious and I'm sure you'll wanna dance and celebrate the legacy of this great jazz master."