Latin Jazz

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The Latin Jazz genre at JMA is a catch all genre for jazz bands that use Latin rhythms, but do not fit our Bossa Nova or Afro Cuban genres. Many of the bands listed here mix rhythms from Brazil, Cuba, Central America and Africa in ways that are not always easy to categorize or define.

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GATO BARBIERI Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata (aka Gato Barbieri) Album Cover Chapter Three: Viva Emiliano Zapata (aka Gato Barbieri)
4.95 | 3 ratings
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GATO BARBIERI Under Fire Album Cover Under Fire
4.89 | 3 ratings
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ASTOR PIAZZOLLA Tango: Zero Hour / Nuevo Tango: Hora Zero Album Cover Tango: Zero Hour / Nuevo Tango: Hora Zero
5.00 | 2 ratings
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CAL TJADER Amazonas Album Cover Amazonas
4.95 | 2 ratings
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CAL TJADER Cal Tjader-Stan Getz Sextet Album Cover Cal Tjader-Stan Getz Sextet
4.95 | 2 ratings
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GATO BARBIERI Chapter Four: Alive in New York Album Cover Chapter Four: Alive in New York
4.95 | 2 ratings
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CAL TJADER Cuban Fantasy Album Cover Cuban Fantasy
4.95 | 2 ratings
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CAL TJADER Soul Sauce Album Cover Soul Sauce
4.68 | 4 ratings
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GATO BARBIERI Yesterdays (aka The Third World Revisited) Album Cover Yesterdays (aka The Third World Revisited)
4.63 | 4 ratings
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MILTON NASCIMENTO Geraes Album Cover Geraes
4.67 | 3 ratings
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MILTON NASCIMENTO Courage Album Cover Courage
4.75 | 2 ratings
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MILTON NASCIMENTO Milagre dos peixes Album Cover Milagre dos peixes
4.75 | 2 ratings
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Album · 2013 · Latin Jazz
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kev rowland
‘Desert Flower’ is a culmination of the sound that Lenny (alto and soprano saxophone) and Tony (guitar) have been working on over the last few years since they first met and started playing together at the Christiania Jazz Club In Copenhagen, Denmark in June 2010. Since then they have been working together as a partnership, touring in Lenny’s home country of Russia. On this album they have been joined by Randy Brecker (trumpet), Joe Locke (vibraphone), Cleve Douglass (vocals), Steve LaSpina (bass) and Matt Kane (drums). There is a wonderful group feel about this album, as while both Lenny and Tony are incredible soloists they are more than happy to take a pace backwards and let others shine in the spotlight when the time is right. This is mostly an instrumental album, which has at its’ foundation a wonderful rhythm section, who are playing incredibly complex counter melodies and notes that allows the soloists to really move in and around the music. Lenny has a wonderfully warm tone, while Tony seems to be happiest when providing the perfect accompaniment and doesn’t take the lead as often as one would think. Randy and Joe aren’t always in the sound, but when they come in they have major impact to the piece, either as soloists, taking part in a duet, or providing another soundboard for Lenny to play against. This is mainstream jazz, much more refined than what I normally listen to, and because of that I found that although I enjoyed it the very first time I played it, it took quite a while to discern and understand all the layers. It is when they up the tempo as on “Horizons” that they really start to cook, with Matt driving them onwards and Randy and Lenny in perfect harmony at the forefront while Tony provides the support.

A wonderful warm, expressive and impressive album, that fans of mainstream jazz should look out for.

MARIUS GUNDERSEN Retrato Brasileiro

Album · 2012 · Latin Jazz
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Marius Gundersen is a classical guitarist from Norway who also plays Brazilian music. If your prejudices are telling you that this is an odd fit, you couldn’t be more wrong. Gundersen has a wonderful feel for the Bossa Nova rhythms of Brazil. His touch is so light and delicate, and his rhythms are so subtle and supple, that I’m sure he has made many native Brazilian guitarists jealous. When you get into the higher echelons of classical performance, its all about control and all the different shades of lightness you can bring to a piece. Gundersen’s ability to play lightly, but with strength, makes “Retrato Brasileiro” one of the best guitar albums to come out so far this year. If you are a fan of mastered technique, Gundersen’s playing will be sweet delicate music to your ears.

Gundersen pulls from many sources to assemble his songs on this CD. There are many classics from Brazilian composers such as Antonio Carlos Jobim and Baden Powell, as well as six originals composed by Gundersen himself. Particularly nice is Gundersen’s bitter sweet melody on “Obrigado” that closes out the CD. All of the songs on here flow together smoothly creating an endless stream of intricate acoustic guitar sounds. You don’t need serious knowledge in Brazilian music to enjoy “Retrato Brassileiro”, this CD has cross appeal for fans of all kinds of instrumental music from modern classical to contemporary jazz. Some may even say this CD makes for great background music, but it is even better when you give it a serious listen.

CAL TJADER Cal Tjader's Latin Concert

Live album · 1959 · Latin Jazz
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What a treat this album is. Cool latin beats played by master craftsmen. Vince Guaraldi, Mongo Santamaria, and Willie Bobo join Tjeder and bassist Al McKibbon for this high energy recording. Cal the vibraphonist goes after it right away on "Viva Cepeda". The percussion is mesmerizing with the timbales and drums of Bobo intersecting with the Santamaria's congas.

A live recording, one would never know from listening. There's no crowd interaction, no lengthy breaks between songs, etc.... except three quarters of the way through the albums epic closer, "A Young Love". A ten plus minute workout, each member of the band gets to show their stuff. My My, what a quality product!

Tjader is one of my favorite latin oriented leaders to throw on the stereo. A few of the others on this recording are too, especially Guaraldi. That ranks this as a classic in my book, perhaps not immortal, but at certainly top of the heap.

If anyone out there wants some old latin jazz for your next cinco de mayo fiesta, or some chillout music for your next spring cleaning, this would be on my short list of recommendations.

MARCOS VALLE Previsão do tempo

Album · 1973 · Latin Jazz
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Necessity. An experiment. Talent. Conviction.

As a result, it will be necessary for the listener to know the process that this wonderful album is announced. And it will be necessary for us to read the musicality that Marcos Valle created and the situation that happened with talent in Brazil of the 60s. The listener believes that the pleasure of this album spreads if I know the summary.

You must explain some then situation and situation about the market for music to enjoy this album. And the then Brazilian situation will affect it deeply. And the situation to surround Marcos Valle changed every moment, and this album was born.

At first I explain music and the directionality that Marcos Valle created from the latter half of the 60s. He comes across a classical music at 5-year-old time. And he is given a piano by a grandmother. And he is attracted by the jazz which was gradually conveyed by the United States. And there is him in playing a guitar at teenage time for the first time. Probably the musician who started the method about the performance of a song and the guitar not only Marcos Valle would have a big influence by Joao Gilberto. And I suppose that probably it is in this time, and Marcos Valle has already learned a technical part about the music.

Marcos Valle is born to a parent running a lawyer. Probably the future occupation would have various choices for Marcos Valle at this time. However, it would be fatal for him, as a result, to have chosen the life as the musician. He begins the history as a musician in the teens in a club in Sao Paulo. It appeared in a remark of Roberto Menescal conspicuously that Marcos Valle already had the talent as the musician. Marcos Valle visited the cause of Roberto Menescal and was going to learn the technique about the performance of the guitar. However, Roberto Menescal has already seen through talent of Marcos Valle. As a result, the song of Marcos Valle and the guitar and the piano are established as an original method. The advice of the rotation to surround him would have it. And it is a well-known fact that Marcos Valle established the position as a composer.

When it linked the situation of the music of at least then Brazil if this album considers it as process announced as aggregate of the wonderful music, I may suppose it. As a result, the situation and the history of the Brazilian music that happened in the latter half of the 60s were complicated. It will be necessary to analyze the situation as a summary. There were some historic facts and derivation there.

1. Pleasure and inevitability in the listener of the Brazilian music

The music that was fraught with traditional parts such as samba and bossa nova for Brazilian music let universal parts always link. However, the inevitability that slightly changed for Brazilian music and listener at this time was existence of the music festival. The Brazilian music gave a very fresh impression for the people of other countries. And there were both the Brazilian music and the part which came under an influence by American jazz equally. The genre called jazz bossa would often have in particular a form of trio. It succeeded to some extent more like Milton Banana and was established. However, the existence of this music festival gave the shadow which was ignorant of the splendid classic history such as samba and bossa nova.

2. A coup d'etat and military regime in Brazil of the 60s

Such military pressure and control are very disappointing. This control continued very for a long time. And this situation was remarkable at the same time in a market of the music. This situation was one of the factors to let a traditional part of the Brazilian music delay. The singer who reacted in this situation was in particular Nara Reao. It is a fact that she was a goddess of bossa nova. However, the remark that tuned to the part in the system was shocking. This situation would be the factor that was enough to let the decline of the Brazilian music accelerate.

3. Tropicalismo

The military control would let a tradition of the Brazilian music decline in the then Brazilian history. However, the anti-system included the counterattack of music and the culture at the same time. It is a fact to have had effect of the musicality such as The Beatles on this activity indirectly. It was generated not to mention derivation and influence of such a music worldwide. Furthermore, the derivation of these music included a cultural aspect. It was expressed not only music by drama and a movie and art. As a result, these expression develops into insurgence. This situation became the huge wave as Tropicalismo. There were Caetano Veloso and Gilberto Gil for a maelstrom of this situation. The activity gave a big shock. It let, as a result, samba and bossa nova decline, and some musicians laid a result to take refuge in the other countries. This was one counter culture in the Brazilian history.

4. Musica Popular Brasileira

The existence of the music festival that I spoke by the above was one of the factors that were enough to establish MPB. I suppose in particular that the existence of Elis Regina let you express musicality to establish the dawn of MPB. The stage in the market of the music excreted in Sao Paulo from Rio de Janeiro. And the existence of MPB was established for a listener with many musicians. An interlocking movement of various music. pop in particular and rock and the fusion of the Brazilian music became MPB and accelerated.

Marcos Valle which had been already known in the United States in the 60s returned to Brazil in 1968. Of course military control began in those days. In this situation, I cannot grasp feelings of Marcos Valle which returned to Brazil. However, his rotation already included the existence of his older brother and Deodato and various musicians. And experience that he cultivated in the United States was enough to let you express it as MPB. Rather those situation and expression might not have at all sense of incongruity.

The "rhythm always had importance same as harmony and a melody for me. "

Marcos Valle speaks in this way and reviews those days. However, as for the music of Marcos Valle in the 70s in particular, ability of construction and the arrangement of the melody will be fully shown. It lets you ask about his having had talent for composition with the performance of the musical instrument enough. It is remarkable in creation of the music that he in particular went for in the 70s.

The point that is important as the different factor that this album is wonderful will be existence of "Azimuth". Azimuth acted as back band in live where Marcos Valle had already gone to. Therefore, the participation in the recording of this album would be natural, too.

MPB has been already established. However, it is not exaggeration even if I say that Marcos Valle which let you introduce original sensitivity and talent into the established musicality created form of new MPB. The traditional Brazilian music is not included in this album. However, it is a model of new MPB which this album follows them and created. It is progressive surely. And it completely succeeds. Please feel talent of Marcos Valle.

"Flamengo Ate Morrer" is well-done as a beginning of this album very much. I adopt a factor of the acoustic with the atmosphere of the samba as an axis. Furthermore, it is handled an obbligato and the chorus of the keyboard. A lyrical song. The melody of the keyboard in particular helps an atmosphere of the music very much. The melody is lyrical, but chord and the construction of the music are wonderful.

In "Nem Paleto, Nem Gravata", a melody is very unique. A keyboard instrument helps the unique melody. And rhythm and the song which used many syncopation match a bright melody. Constitution and the melody of the music are cheerful. The importance of a melody and the rhythm that Marcos Valle spoke will be shown in this music.

"Tira A Mao" begins by a melody with overwhelming lyrism. Probably I may adopt chromatic scale progress. And a little rock chord succeeds enough, too.Arrangement and the construction of the melody are wonderful. I can catch this music as progressive MPB. A keyboard and the arrangement of bass are wonderful.

"Mentira" is music popular in Europe and Japan. The melody that adopted RnB and horn section is good. An element such as a little funk carried on the melody. This music is one of the melodies that are funky in this album.

"Previsao Do Tempo" is a ballad with the lyrism very much. There is not the song, but the next board and arrangement of strings are wonderful. The homesickness in the Brazilian music is expressed by established MPB. Overlap and the power of expression of various sounds are wonderful.

"Mais Do Que Valsa" is music using three beats. A feeling of floating and the translucency that a melody has are wonderful. The obbligato of the keyboard. Or the song of falsetto by Marcos Valle creates an atmosphere of this music.

In "Os Ossos Do Barao", it is bargained over a song and the chorus. ensemble of a wind instrument and the keyboard is united. A feeling of scamper that music has is comfortable.

"Nao Tem Nada Nao" is one of the highlights of this album, too. Deodato and Joao Donato affect this music as composition, too. The rhythm by the on beat. A melody of the homesickness that Brazilian music has. The arrangement of the keyboard. The obbligato of the guitar. All is wonderful. And, as for this music, a melody lasts as reprise.

"Samba Fatal" is the ballad that homesickness and the sorrow were expressed very much. The sound of a slightly heavy guitar. Progress of complete chord. A feeling of floating.

"Tiu Ba La Quieba" is progressive MPB. The arrangement of the keyboard. The melody of the song has originality.

"De Repente, Moca Flor" is music with the very melody of peace.Power of expression of translucency and a feeling of floating. And the obbligato of strings is elegant. I contribute to the role of the keyboard enough.

I let this album created form of MPB in the 70s enough and express it. Talent and the expression that Marcos Valle has are shown enough by this album. And Marcos Valle has already known the technique to adopt a factor of various music on a part of traditional music. I recommend this album for a listener loving Brazilian music with a listener loving music. Here is the music that should be handed down.


Album · 1974 · Latin Jazz
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I imagine that without the Gilliam film ‘12 Monkeys’ in the 1990s, it would have taken longer for me to be exposed to Astor Piazzolla. But I’m glad it happened then, because I’ve been fascinated by the bandoneón (closer to a concertina than an accordion) ever since; it possess such a dark range, able to transform the tango into something as sinister as it is beautiful.

Of course, tango traditionalists weren’t happy with the classically trained Piazzolla’s ‘nuevo tango’ while he was developing it in the 1950s, which incorporated influences from the jazz and classical worlds, certainly evident in this album, named for his most famous composition ‘Libertango.’ Once I would have found it doubtful that an entire album could be based around the tango, but indeed it can, that was a younger, more foolish me. Glance at the list of instruments present on this release, and you’ll see that Piazzolla is ably supported in creating interesting variations of the tango.

Whether it’s the urgency that the hi-hats add to the amazing title track, with its film-score string section and sharp rhythm, or the marimba in ‘Meditango’ there are dozens of small touches that flesh out and support the at times creepy, sometimes romantic sound of Astor’s bandoneón. And it’s a powerful tool for suspense, take the stalking introduction of ‘Adiós Nonino’ – one of the more interesting pieces, complete with an great closing organ solo – or it’s follow up, ‘Violentango’ where the piano chords hold steady round a frantic rhythm section and wild dancing of Piazzolla’s fingers across the buttons. Structurally, a lot of the tangos here are more like classical compositions, possessing something akin to self-contained movements, like the wonderful ‘Meditango’ which runs a gamut of emotions, passages and tempos on its journey.

If you’ve a passing interest in tango or are looking for a new branch of Latin-jazz to explore, then look here to start, or at least, to any of the works by the ‘Great’ Astor.

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