BILL ORTIZ — Points Of View (review)

BILL ORTIZ — Points Of View album cover Album · 2022 · Latin Jazz Buy this album from MMA partners
3.5/5 ·
js
Trumpeter Bill Ortiz has worked with many well-known artists over the years, but possibly he is best known for his sixteen years with Carlos Santana (2000-2016) Along with Carlos, Bill has also toured with Bay Area RnB groups like Tony Toni Tone and En Vogue, and has also performed with top jazz musicians such as Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter and Chick Corea. Add to that list many RnB, blues and Latin jazz performers and you get an idea of how much Bill gets around. His latest album, “Points of View”, takes Ortiz in more of a Latin jazz and fusion direction, which is different from his previous albums which were more RnB and hip-hop oriented. There is an amazing all-star cast assembled for this album, too many stars to list, but two of the top contributors include Dennis Chambers on drums and Azar Lawrence on tenor saxophone. Although “Points of View” is very much a modern album, there is a spiritual connection to the 70s with songs by artists like Eddie Henderson, Lonnie Liston Smith and Brian Jackson, but it’s Azar’s big soulful tenor sound that brings that organic 70s vibe more than anything else.

There is a wide variety of music on here, each song has its own unique flavor that stands on its own. Looking at some album highlights, opening track “Sunburst” brings the jazz-rock energy. Although Bill rarely sounds like Miles, on this rockin track he seems to channel Miles’ aggressive riffs from his Live at the Fillmore album. “Okonkole y Trompa” is a mystical African flavored rumba with Bill’s deep toned flugelhorn sounding like an ancient African horn sounding over a percussion groove. The psychedelic Afro-Cuban sound is also found on “Fusion/Noche Cubana", on which Ortiz plays echoed trumpet lines over the percussion backdrop. “Aint Gon Change a Thang” is funky Latin RnB and has Bill playing a processed trumpet that sounds like Randy Brecker’s work combining mutes and wah pedals. And there are plenty more tracks of course. Though out the album, Ortiz’s trumpet playing is bold and forthright, very much in the Latin tradition, and also similar to power trumpeters like Freddie Hubbard and Jon Faddis.
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