Alcatraz (Lima Limón Records, 2008)
The African rooted music of Peru has taken root in New York through a band named Alcatraz (which is also the title of a popular Peruvian song). The multinational ensemble incorporates jazz elements and instrumental virtuosity to Afro-Peruvian classics. Argentine singer Sofia Koutsovitis provides the warm vocals and she does an excellent job, blending traditional singing with jazz stylings. Master percussionists Hector Morales (a native of Lima, Peru) and Marcos Napa (also from Lima, Peru) provide subtle ands fiery percussion, including the cajón and other Peruvian instruments such as the quijada and zapateo.
American musician Eric Kurimski participates with elaborate guitar work that goes beyond the usual accompaniment found in many Afro-Peruvian bands. He provides captivating solos. Kurismki studied under the guidance of Peruvian guitarist Carlos Hayre. In addition, there is also violin on several of the pieces. On bass we find composer and arranger Edward Pérez, who spent two years in Lima. In Peru, Perez collaborated with virtuoso percussionists Julio “Chocolate” Algendones and Juan Medrano Cotito.
The CD is available from http://www.alcatrazmusic.com.