Although many people may not realize it, Puerto Rico is the home of a vibrant and thriving jazz scene. It is here that Latin Jazz trumpeter Charlie Sepúlveda lives and does the bulk of his playing but he is certainly no stranger to New York City. Born in the Bronx, Sepúlveda appeared regularly in the Big Apple throughout the 70s and 80s with his cousin — a Latin Jazz pianist of some notoriety named Eddie Palmieri — and the likes of Mongo Santamaria, Dave Valentin, Tito Puente and countless others. He is currently a Professor at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of music and leads one of the island's most popular jazz ensembles, The Turnaround. The band is a collection of celebrity jazz chefs who mix together a tasty dish of Latin Jazz, hard bop and Afro-American rhythms. "Today, what is called 'Latin Jazz' is different in so many ways. Earlier it was oriented towards Afro-Cuban styles," Charlie said in an interview, "I play the traditional form of Latin jazz mixed with hard bop and always with Puerto Rican styles like Bomba, Plena, and Danza." So it was only natural that Sepúlveda name this live recording from NYC's 'jazz mecca Dizzy's, This is Latin Jazz, since it features the type of music the trumpeter grew up playing and on which he cut his musical teeth. An all-star group of his colleagues showed up to play with the band including Randy Brecker, Miguel Zenon, Steve Turre and Nestor Torres. Sepúlveda's cherished wife Natalia Mercado also provides a vocal on the touching ballad, "Alfonsina y el Mar." An important recording from one of the most beloved and respected instrumentalists, leaders and composers in Latin Jazz, Charlie Sepúlveda.
CHARLIE SEPÚLVEDA, trumpet • Norberto Ortiz, tenor saxophone • Eduardo Zayas, piano • Gabriel Rodriguez, bass • Francisco Alcalá, drums • Nicholas Cosaboom, congas
Special Guests: Randy Brecker, trumpet • Natalia Mercado, vocal • Nestor Torres, flute • Steve Turre, trombone • Miguel Zenon, alto saxophone
TRACKS: Liberty • Tales from the Wall • Cherry Pink and Apple Blosson White • Alfonsina y el Mar • Frenesi • Estampas • Firm Roots • Peer Magic
Frenesi – featuring Miguel Zenon
Liberty – featuring Randy Brecker
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White – featuring Nestor Torres