Academic journal article Notes

The Banda Brothers

Academic journal article Notes

The Banda Brothers

Article excerpt

The Banda Brothers. Primavera. DVD (Blu-ray). Produced by Mark Waldrep. Los Angeles, CA: AIX Records, 2012. AIX 85050. $34.98.

West coast jazz aficionados know Tony and Ramon Banda best for their namesake ensemble, the Banda Brothers, with Tony on bass, Ramon on drums and percussion, and a revolving variety of standouts filling out the sextet. Noted for their effortless in- terpretations of straight-ahead jazz, bepop, and Afro-Cuban styles, the Banda Brothers only release prior to Primavera is the superb 2008 Acting Up where they expertly wed neo-bop arrangements with an uptown Latin groove. Primavera continues in this vein, though Tony is conspicuously absent owing to health problems at the time of recording. The visual setting of Primavera is intimate: musicians positioned facing one another as if in a private living room con- cert. Yet, the apparatus of recording is con- spicuous, with microphones positioned throughout the space and three overlap- ping camera angles frequently revealing one another. Slick cuts among these cam- eras make the room seem larger, allowing an insider point-of-view within the musi- cian's circle that viewers will appreciate.

Ramon on drums and timbales collabo- rates with some wonderful talent on Primavera. On a rendition of Wes Mont- gomery's "Fried Pies," legendary guitarist Ron Escheté and Los Angeles-based organ- ist Joe Bagg join Ramon for a laidback opener that is also one of the most artful tracks on the disc. Primavera is unique in that veteran performers like Escheté, conguero Joey DeLeon, and flautist Danilo Lozano share centerstage with a cavalcade of young talent like Bagg, saxophonist Tom Catanzaro, and vocalist Destini Wolf. …

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