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My Summertime (1995)

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Ray Barretto

Ray Barretto (a master of the congas) has effectively fused together bop-oriented jazz with Latin rhythms to form a particularly viable version of Afro-Cuban jazz; he hates the term "Latin jazz." Rather than sounding like two forms of music, Barretto's group New World Spirit shows that Latin rhythms can uplift all types of jazz songs, even ballads such as "When You Wish Upon A Star." Barretto's sextet is quite strong with Michael Philip Mossman's trumpet recalling Freddie Hubbard at times, Adam Kolker showing versatility and hard-driving swing during his tenor and soprano solos and the leader constantly cooking in the rhythm section. Whether it be Duke Jordan's "No Problem," "While My Lady Sleeps" or "Summertime" (which has Barretto partly talking his way through a vocal), the music is both creative and easily accessible. Recommended. ~ Scott Yanow