Ray Obiedo: Latin Jazz Project Vol 2

The veteran jazz and Latin guitarist plays uplifting cha-cha, funk and soca with Bob Mintzer, Norbert Stachel and others

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This is guitarist Obiedo’s second album of jazz tinged with the colours and rhythms of Latin music. It comprises 10 original compositions by Obiedo and one jazz standard. All the compositions sound modern, with a distinctive groove feel to them. There are elements of contemporary jazz as well as rhythm and blues across the album. It’s Obiedo’s 10th release as band leader. The previous album (Volume 1) was released in 2016 to positive reviews.

Obiedo has chosen his musicians well with many drawn from a background of performing with bands like Santana and Tower of Power. For that reason, the album never lacks musicality, pace or variety.

The tracks are diverse in their style, ranging from cha cha (Still Life), funk (Beatnik, Uno Dos), soca (Santa Lucia) and bossa-nova (Beleafonte). Obiedo’s guitar playing is fluid, elegant and noticeable without being overly dominant. His style has been developed over four decades of playing with musicians like Herbie Hancock, Fourplay’s Harvey Mason and Johnny “Hammond” Smith.

The album is hugely enjoyable and well worth a listen if you are seeking a bit of Latin sunshine to brighten up your winter months.

Discography
Still Life; Criss Cross; Beatnik; Santa Lucia; Belafonte; Uno Dos; Viva Tirado; Big World (47.16)
Obiedo (g, kyb ); David K Mathews (p, kyb); Norbert Stachel (f); Mike Olmos (t); Bob Mintzer (ts); Peter Escovedo, Michael Spiro (pc); David Belove (b); Phil Hawkins, David Garibaldi, Paul Van Wageningen (d); Sheila E (cgo) and others. No recording dates supplied. Recorded at different locations and mixed 2021 at Oakland, California, USA.
Rhythmus Records RR004