Latin Jazz

Jazz music community with review and forums

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.

latin jazz top albums

Showing only albums and live's | Based on members ratings & JMA custom algorithm | 24 hours caching

MILTON NASCIMENTO Geraes Album Cover Geraes
MILTON NASCIMENTO
4.75 | 4 ratings
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ASTOR PIAZZOLLA Tango: Zero Hour / Nuevo Tango: Hora Zero Album Cover Tango: Zero Hour / Nuevo Tango: Hora Zero
ASTOR PIAZZOLLA
4.62 | 4 ratings
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MILTON NASCIMENTO Minas Album Cover Minas
MILTON NASCIMENTO
4.62 | 4 ratings
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MILTON NASCIMENTO Milton Nascimento & Som Imaginario ‎: Milagre Dos Peixes (Gravado Ao Vivo) Album Cover Milton Nascimento & Som Imaginario ‎: Milagre Dos Peixes (Gravado Ao Vivo)
MILTON NASCIMENTO
4.75 | 2 ratings
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CAL TJADER Cal Tjader-Stan Getz Sextet Album Cover Cal Tjader-Stan Getz Sextet
CAL TJADER
4.50 | 2 ratings
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MILTON NASCIMENTO Miltons Album Cover Miltons
MILTON NASCIMENTO
4.50 | 2 ratings
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CAL TJADER Amazonas Album Cover Amazonas
CAL TJADER
4.50 | 2 ratings
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CAL TJADER Cuban Fantasy Album Cover Cuban Fantasy
CAL TJADER
4.50 | 2 ratings
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GATO BARBIERI Chapter Four: Alive in New York Album Cover Chapter Four: Alive in New York
GATO BARBIERI
4.50 | 2 ratings
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CAL TJADER Cal Tjader's Latin Concert Album Cover Cal Tjader's Latin Concert
CAL TJADER
4.45 | 2 ratings
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CAL TJADER La Onda Va Bien Album Cover La Onda Va Bien
CAL TJADER
4.33 | 3 ratings
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MILTON NASCIMENTO Courage Album Cover Courage
MILTON NASCIMENTO
4.33 | 3 ratings
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This list is in progress since the site is new. We invite all logged in members to use the "quick rating" widget (stars bellow album covers) or post full reviews to increase the weight of your rating in the global average value (see FAQ for more details). Enjoy JMA!

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latin jazz Music Reviews

JOHN DAVERSA Cuarentena : With Family at Home

Album · 2020 · Latin Jazz
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js
Its not unusual for a John Daversa album to carry a theme outside of the music itself, so it is with his new album, “Cuarantena: With Family at Home”, on which he explores the importance of familial relationships in a time of quarantine through a collection of boleros, a musical form that was often a part of his family gatherings when he was young. Many of these compositions by Daversa are homages to various family members, and also many other of the compositions were written by other family members. Interspersed between the tracks, the various members of Daversa’s quintet discuss how family and music interact in their own lives. Speaking of the assembled quintet for the recording, this is an all-star ensemble with top names at every position; Gonzalo Rubalcaba on piano, Carlo De Rosa on bass, Dafnis Prieto on drums and Sammy Figueroa on percussion.

As mentioned already, every one of these songs is a bolero, but do not expect sameness, instead this album is laden with creative eclecticism. Boleros tend to be rhythmically laid back and very melodic, and you do get a lot of that on here, but there are variations too. “#45” features some high speed bebop unisons, “#22” contains fiery solo trade offs, “Puppitas” has a far out arrangement that borders on the avant-garde, and “#19”builds into an aggressive samba like energy. Still, the hallmark of “Cuarantena” are the more laid back boleros that fascinate with their open spaces and relaxed timing. The open spaces can almost recall a classic ECM disc, only with a Latin flavor and no icy reverb. When Daversa’s lonely trumpet plays over a sparse accompaniment I’m also reminded of Miles’ classic “Quiet Nights” album. All members of the band are careful not to overplay and the tracks are made more interesting because different members of the band will drop out of the mix for a while instead of all five going at it all the time. Overall, a most valuable player award could go to Rubalcaba whose wide ranging skills can add variety through his knowledge of post bop, Latin jazz and classical.

This is a beautiful album, very thoughtful and sensitive. Its great to hear musicians with mind blowing chops set their pyrotechnics aside for a while to just play music that anyone can relate to, not just fans of jazz or Latin music.

ANTONIO ADOLFO BruMa (Mist): Celebrating Milton Nascimento

Album · 2020 · Latin Jazz
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js
“BruMa” is not only Antonio Adolfo’s musical tribute to Milton Nascimento, but also a tribute to Milton’s attempts to help the victims of flooding in two Brazilian cities, which is reflected in the album’s title. The Bru refers to the city Brumadinho, and Ma refers to Moriana, two cities who suffered catastrophic consequences when earthen dams collapsed. Adolfo has worked with Milton as far back as the late 60s, which makes him a perfect candidate for reworking some of Nasciemento’s music. Many of these songs will be familiar to others, not only from Milton’s previous albums, but also from albums by artists such as Wayne Shorter and Stanley Turrentine. This is a Brazilian jazz album, but don’t expect non-stop bossas and sambas, those rhythms are used, but so are many other rhythms from Brazil, as well as rhythms from the worlds of contemporary jazz and RnB. Subtlety is the key here, Nascimento’s music is full of tricky rhythms and chord changes, but Adolfo’s smooth arrangements make this into an album almost anyone can enjoy.

There is only one samba on here, “Cancao Do Sal’, and it is one of the best tracks with an excellent driving piano muntuno to push it forward. “Caxanga” uses Afro-Brazilian rhythms from Bhia that sound a lot like jazz RnB from the US east coast. Likewise, the relaxed shuffle of “Nada Sera Como Antes” is similar to a hip-hop jazz groove. With a four horn front line there are plenty of solos to go around, with some of the best coming from the Coltrane inspired tenor of Marcelo Martins. The classic music of Milton Nascimento is in good hands with these tasteful mini-big band arrangements.

RICARDO PEIXOTO Scary Beautiful

Album · 2019 · Latin Jazz
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js
I don’t know if it is just coincidence, but lately I have received several new CDs that mix Brazilian jazz with contemporary classical composition. If this is a ‘new thing’, its really working well as borne out in the latest album I was sent along these lines, Ricardo Peixoto’s “Scary Beautiful”. Ricardo is an acoustic guitarist who has worked with some top names including, Flora Purim, Bud Shank, Dom Um Romao, Arturo Sandoval and many more. “Scary Beautiful” is his third album and it finds him presenting ten original compositions, each with its own unique sound and flavor. No two tracks on here feature the same backing musicians as Ricardo moves from large ensembles to intimate duets and everything in between. The many guests on here include some well known artists such as Paul McCandless, John Santos and Marcos Silva.

Album opener “Circles” recalls early Oregon, so its no surprise to find that group’s McCandless on soprano sax. “Morro de Paixao” is a lively samba that will remind many of the celebratory nature of much Brazilian music. This track also features a horn section whose rhythmic accents recall a salsa band or even the Earth Wind and Fire horns. Title track, “Scary Beautiful” shows Ricardo’s compositional side with interlocking minimalist rhythms that build momentum throughout the piece. “Pixinguina” features a chamber woodwind ensemble and more contemporary composition. The relatively short “Nereids” is one of the more striking tracks with its floating wordless vocals from Claudia Villela that create a movie soundtrack like atmosphere. Although each of the cuts on "Scary Beautiful" feature a different sound, the whole album flows together nicely like a Brazilian contemporary tone poem.

TAIGUARA Canções De Amor E Liberdade

Album · 1983 · Latin Jazz
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GKAZZ
There is a reason why I have a great admiration for Taiguara. The past albums are great, and he is a superb musician, but its in his last two works that his political voice gain more sound and reverberation.

"Canções de Amor e Liberdade" (Songs of Love and Freedom), is the kind of album that shows an ageing musician dealing with themes new and old, in a new way. He gave attention both to more traditional tecniques as to a great bit of improvisation and experimentation. The whole album is filled with a communist reading of brazilian and latinamerican reality, as Taiguara were, by 1983, already in touch with Karl Marx and Lenin works, besides becoming a comrade of the communist leader Luiz Carlos Prestes.

The interesting is that his music is not "affected" by his politics: its accesible yet bold; popular yet scholar. As great music should be.

TAIGUARA Imyra, Tayra, Ipy - Taiguara

Album · 1976 · Latin Jazz
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GKAZZ
Contextualization is necessary: ​​in the late sixties, Taiguara was seen as one of the biggest names in Brazilian popular music. He have won festivals, their albums sold well, their songs were reproduced constantly in the radios. Over time, Taiguara was fond of singing more freely, allowing himself to make small comments about the military dictatorship and the dreams of a new society - all in metaphors and innuendos. In 1971, in the album "Carne e Osso", there was a song dedicated to Cuba. The Brazilian censorship never left Taiguara rest for then on. In the following years, more than 60 songs would be prohibited, censored, or prevented from being reproduced in radio and concerts. His shows were constantly attacked by police forces. Taiguara decided to go on exile. In England, he records an album with Michel Legrand and the London Symphonic Orchestra. The album is banned from being released in England by the Brazilian government - today the original tapes have not yet been found. In 1975 he was allowed to return to Brazil and record a new album.

How? How to express his indigenous roots, his displeasure with censorship and dictatorship and his dream for another society without censorship attacking him? "Imyra, Tayra Ipy" is born.

With Wagner Tiso, Hermeto Pascoal and more than 80 musicians, "Imyra, Tayra Ipy" becomes a lavish album, absurdly complex, with thematic and concept from start to finish. The arrival in Brazil, his feeling of belonging to a land whose birds do not sing anymore; its indigenous, African and Spanish roots sung, while more than 3 musicians solo at the same time. "Imyra, Tayra Ipy" is a landmark of both the artist and Brazilian music. Albums like this were not usually recorded in Brazil: by technical and financial condition to gather all the attributes. "Imyra, Tayra Ipy" grandeur comes, often in the album, in its ability to completely subvert brazilian songs and themes in something completly different. One of the best example is his reading of "Aquarela do Brasil" in the track "Aquarela de um país na lua".

The result? Three days later, the Brazilian police collected the album form the shelves of the stores and destroyed the copies. Taiguara went into exile in Europe and Africa and would record again only almost ten years later.

But no matter, the song has come to us, we have the opportunity to see an artist who used the music to take revenge on a system, whith strings, drums and highly dreamy lyrics.

The Taiguara of the following decades would be extremely bold and would definitely drop the metaphors to reach his political ideas in a direct form.

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JMA TOP 5 Jazz ALBUMS

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Albums with 30 ratings and more
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