Una Noche Con Rubén Blades, An Exquisitely-Crafted Mix of Salsa and Jazz Swing

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis featuring Rubén Blades – Una Noche Con Rubén Blades (Blue Engine Records, 2018)

Salsa and jazz swing come together in a superb collaboration between the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and salsa star Rubén Blades, plus additional musicians on Afro-Cuban percussion and backing vocals.

Rubén Blades demonstrates why he’s been one of the top salsa singers for years. Not surprisingly, he also shows great talent as a jazz crooner. The repertoire on the album combines various Rubén Blades salsa hits such as “Pedro Navaja,” “Patria,” and “El Cantante,”along with jazz standards like “Too Close for Comfort” and “Begin the Beguine.”

The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra in this occasion was led by bassist Carlos Henriquez, one of the rising stars of Latin jazz. He grew up listening to Rubén Blades. “His albums, and the sound and the warmth they generated, filled my family’s apartment at 146th and Brook Avenue in the Bronx, and his music was one of my earliest influences.”

Although Rubén Blades stands out throughout the album, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra’s musicians contribute remarkable solos on trumpet, trombone, flute, piano and percussion.

The musicians on the album include:

Reeds: Sherman Irby on alto saxophone and soprano saxophones; Ted Nash on alto saxophone, flute, piccolo; Victor Goines on tenor and soprano saxophones, clarinet; Walter Blanding on tenor saxophone; and Paul Nedzela on baritone saxophone.

Trumpets: Ryan Kisor, Kenny Rampton, Marcus Printup, and Wynton Marsalis.

Trombones: Vincent Gardner, Chris Crenshaw and Elliot Mason.

Rhythm Section: Dan Nimmer on piano; Carlos Henriquez on bass; and Ali Jackson on drums.

Lead vocals and maracas: Rubén Blades.

Special Guests: Eddie Rosado on backing vocals; Bobby Allende on congas, backing vocals; Marc Quiñones on timbales, backing vocals; Carlos Padron on bongos, cowbell; and Seneca Black on trumpet.

Buy Una Noche Con Rubén Blades

Author: Angel Romero

Angel Romero y Ruiz has been writing about world music music for many years. He founded the websites worldmusiccentral.org and musicasdelmundo.com. Angel produced several TV specials for Metropolis (TVE) and co-produced “Musica NA”, a music show for Televisión Española (TVE) in Spain that featured an eclectic mix of world music, fusion, electronica, new age and contemporary classical music. Angel also produced and remastered world music albums, compilations and boxed sets for Alula Records, Ellipsis Arts, Music of the World.

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