Mark Lipson: Springwells

Percussionist leads a set of well-executed Latin jazz from Michigan redolent of Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria


This is a programme of largely Latin jazz for which the recorded precedents are many, not the least of them being the albums that Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria put out on the Concord Picante label back in the 1980s. As far as I can hear there isn’t a lot going on here that wasn’t going on back then, but then directly comparing musicians and their efforts as though they were racing thoroughbreds or tins of paint is no more helpful now than it has been at any other moment in time.

So, the relatively up tempo If You Came To Me For Love made my ear prick up because of the undoubted commitment of all involved, with the heat generated by pianist Gary Schunk being notable.

You Walked Away is understatedly wistful and quite in keeping with the idea of a title fulfilled. Within the format it works a treat, not least when vibist Cary Kocher is soloing.

The rhythmic heat returns for Copycat, which has about it the air of music that’s far more vibrant when experienced immediately, as opposed to via the “removal” of recording. It’s not by any means unique in this respect, nor is this set likely to be the last example of when that happens.

Springwells; Leafar Village; If You Came To Me For Love; Copycat; You Walked Away; I Remember Joe (35.27)
Dwight Adams (t); Vincent Chandler (tb); Rafael Statin (contra-alto cl, ts, as, ss, sps, concert f, bf); Gary Schunk (p); Cary Kocher (vib); Jeff Pedraz (b); Nate Winn (d); Larry Fratangelo (pc); Mark Lipson (pc). Tempermill Studio, Ferndale, Michigan, 17 March 2019.
DCC Records 0102