25 March 2006
KENNY CLARKE FRANCY BOLAND BIG BAND - LATIN KALEIDOSCOPE
One of the great latin jazz lps of the 60s and featuring who else but Sabu Martinez.
Latin Kaleidoscope is comprised of two suites, with the band swinging on well-written parts to a panoply of well-used percussion elements .Boland recruited drummers Kenny Clare, Al "Tootie" Heath" and Sabu Martinez to add their percussion talents.
Gary McFarland’s six-part "Latin Kaleidoscope" is a joy to discover – much as it was to first hear his solo creations and offers much evidence of his gifts. Boland, who added his own touches to this suite, never takes a solo throughout and is occasionally heard on harpsichord; a sensitive touch to sensitively considered music. And excellent solos are taken by Sahib Shihab ("Duas Rosas"), Ronnie Scott ("Uma Fita de Tres Cores") and Aki Persson ("Othos Negros")
Francy Boland’s "Cuban Fever" is like a musical postcard of Cuba: powerful, colorful, exciting, where the unexpected is approached at every corner. The innate skill of Boland’s craft is most apparent here. Like the great jazz arrangers, he’s a scenarist, a master painter. Here the brasses cover more of the thematic canvas. But it is often the reeds that take solo honors (a nice contrast) – with the exception of the beautiful finale, "Crepusculo y Aurora" that benefits by a resonant Benny Bailey trumpet solo (Clarke’s clever shifting patterns are much in evidence here too).