Friday, October 21, 2016

Marcos Varela, San Ygnacio

Marcos Varela bursts on the scene as an important bassist and bandleader in the contemporary jazz world that comes out of the work of some of the master jazzmen prominent in the '60s and '70s especially--Trane and McCoy Tyner come to mind most readily, but then Herbie Hancock too and some of the Blue Note classic sides of the era.

Yet like the best art of continuation this goes forward from there. What is this? Marcos Varela's album San Ygnacio (Origin 82711). Varela puts on an exemplary bass attitude throughout as bandmate and as soloist. He is joined by a core group of masters: Billy Hart on drums and George Cables on piano (for all but a couple of tracks). They are enhanced and forwarded by the solid fire of Logan Richardson on alto for most of this. Clifton Anderson on trombone, Dayna Stephens on tenor, and Arnold Lee on alto (and Eden Ladin on piano plus Kush Abadey on drums on several tracks) add substance as well.

The mix of one standard and a bunch of contemporary mainstream originals (by Varela, Hart, Cables, Mraz, Ladin, Anderson) sets up a very conducive situation for great blowing.

It all swings and makes for a terrific listen. Varela has arrived.

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