DEBBIE SPRING

Post-Fusion Contemporary / Latin Jazz • United States
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Spring was born in Miami and still lives in South Florida. When she was just two years old, her mother saw how much she loved music and started piano lessons at age five. Wanting to join her school’s orchestra, Spring discovered the viola. She immediately fell in love with the sound of the instrument and eventually had the opportunity to study with several renowned viola teachers.



Although she pursued her musical education at the University of Miami, studying classical music, she had discovered jazz and fell in love with Jean-Luc Ponty’s playing when she heard his early, acoustic jazz violin albums. The University of Miami has a world class jazz department, and the department head allowed her to take a jazz improvisation class in her senior year. After graduating, she set out on a career playing jazz with different groups in the South Florida region. She performed with the group
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DEBBIE SPRING Ocean Drive album cover 0.00 | 0 ratings
Ocean Drive
Post-Fusion Contemporary 1990
DEBBIE SPRING Tocamos album cover 3.00 | 1 ratings
Tocamos
Latin Jazz 2023

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DEBBIE SPRING Tocamos

Album · 2023 · Latin Jazz
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js
Thirty three long years separate Debbie Spring’s first album as a leader and her second one, the recently released “Tocamos”. So what has she been up to over the past couple decades? Well, apparently very busy with several pop and country artists, performing classical music with two orchestras, backing up the Miami Sound Machine and touring with Shakira. Debbie plays the viola, an unusual choice for a jazz musician, but it’s the fact that she is one of the few first call viola players that leads to so much work for her. The viola’s range is usually lower than the violin, but Debbie added a fifth string to her axe so she can get up into violin range. Debbie has a sort of old school ‘gypsy jazz’ sound with a lot of sliding into pitches common with players like Stephane Grappelli and the young Jean Luc Ponty before he went more techno. Debbie cites Jean Luc as a major influence and it shows.

“Tocamos” is a Spanish word that means ”we play”, and that is a theme for this album, people coming together and ignoring their cultural differences so they can play music together. There are many Latin styles present here, plus a little fusion and swing as well. Checking out some various tracks, “Summer” is a relaxed swing groove and it is the track on which Debbie channels the sound of the young Jean Luc. “Bossa Minha” is a bossa nova of course, and features guest guitarist Phil Fest. Title track “Tocamos”, mixes a Brazilian opening section with a piano driven Cuban montuno in the middle section. “Tango Y Mas” is a tango (of course … again) and features Howard Levy on harmonica replacing the expected tango accordion. Possibly the most interesting track though is “Senegal”, a percussion driven jam in 5/4 time that draws from Senegal’s musical culture.

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