At the end of a long week, there’s nothing like a new musical discovery to brighten up my day. The favorites certainly feel comfortable, and they make me feel relaxed. There’s something nice about knowing what to expect and then hearing that play out around my ears. Still, the jazz musician in me really appreciates the musical surprise – that thing I hear that makes me step back and think about the music. When I hear something that inspires me, I’m suddenly awake, excited, and ready to dig as deep as I can into that music.
That happened recently when I encountered the music of Chilean saxophonist Cristian Mendoza performing his song “El Vato Con Clave” with his quartet. I’m not sure how I missed Mendoza’s 2012 debut release Lost In New York – it’s a fantastic album full of passionate, smart saxophone work. A careful listen has showed me a musician well versed in modern jazz as well as music from throughout the Caribbean and South America. His compositions are challenging and thought provoking, bringing out the best of his band members, Hans Glawischnig, Mike Moreno, and Alex Kautz. After a long week of teaching, Friday is usually the most tired day of the week – this week, Mendoza’s music woke me up and I hope that it does the same for you!
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Check out recent Latin Jazz videos:
Elio Villafranca & John Santos Playing Prestame La Bicicleta
A Golden Collaboration: The Caribbean Jazz Project
Trumpet With A New York Edge: Ray Vega
Digging Deeper: The Anatolian Side Of Cuba
Tito Puente Live Featuring Mario Rivera, Jerry Gonzalez, & More