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Homegrown for Christmas

Packages for the mid-decade wrapped in South Florida

The Roots of Rhythm tunes are traditional, but arranged by J.C. or Skip "Brinquito" Burne: Afro-Caribbean rhythms like Puerto Rican bomba; the Afro-Cuban Iyes…, comparsa, and rumba; and the Brazilian Afro-samba. These strategically dispersed short Afro gems give the recording a historical base, the same one from which most Latin music originates.

The tight and faithful renditions of Chick Corea's "Guajira," Oscar Hernandez's (of Seis del Solar) "Midnite Mambo," and the soon to be standard "Siempre me va bien" by David Torres throb with crisp solos and energy. There are also several original compositions by J.C., including the popular favorite "Caribe Madness"; the reflective "Mariel" by Mario Marrero; Johnny Padilla's descarga-style "J.C.'s Revenge"; and Gua Gua's "Cathy's Theme."

Latin jazz only recently has begun to rearrange our musical landscape. We must be careful of projectiles. Here the congas are flyin' alongside the coconuts -- um-pa-kin-kin ah.

By Adrian Castro

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