The Blue Road Records Session Band is the house band of the Blue Road Records studio in Miami, founded in 2019 by Miriam Stone, who plays acoustic guitar on this album. Bassist Espinoza and guitarist Leo Quintero are both from Venezuela. Stone and the keyboard player Yajna Horter are from Cuba. Drummer Abanto is from Peru. Brev Sullivan is the son of Ira and from the USA.
The music presented in this tribute to multi-instrumentalist Ira Sullivan, who died in 2020, is a wild extravaganza of Latin American, bop and jazz fusion, sometimes all three at once. They begin in jubilant form on Porter’s I Get A Kick Out Of You, which swings compulsively, supercharged by Kevin Abanto’s drums and Espinoza’s booming electric bass. You can tell that each musician is enjoying the music they are playing enormously. And why not? It’s lively, rhythmic in spades and melodic.
Sullivan junior is a strong lead guitar, and his solos sparkle all through this programme. The lead work is shared by Quintero, also listed as a lead guitarist. Four of the selections are by Sullivan senior and there is a lively bop and Latin version of Dameron’s Our Delight.
The Villa Lobos piece Little Train Of Caipira is introduced by Miriam Stone’s softly purring acoustic guitar before the entire sextet take over. This is a slightly unusual, offbeat record but it works well if you put all the categories out of mind and enjoy it for what it is. A bouncy, well-played jazz session with solid guitar solos and cooking rhythm. For a bonus, keyboard player Horta picks up a soprano sax on Sullivan’s Multimedia.
I Get A Kick Out Of You; Monday’s Dance; Circumstantial; Multimedia; Icarus; Nineveh; Our Delight; Little Train Of Caipira; Espresso Bueno; Amazing Grace (52.23)
Brev Sullivan, Leo Quintero (elg); Miriam Stone (g); Javier Espinoza (elb); Yainer Horter (kyb, ss); Kevin Abanto (d). Miami, 2021.
Blue Road Records