VOICES Notes and news on Classical releases
18 APR 11 JASON SERINUS
The wide-ranging music of pianist and composer Michel Camilo defies pigeonholing. The tracks on Camilo's upcoming Telarc recording, Spirit Of The Moment, vary from the Latin-tinged jazz of "Hurry Up And Wait" to the extremely mellow and sophisticated "A Place In Time." It's jazz that belies his classical training, and that will appeal to a wide cross-section of music lovers.
As much as he is a jazz artist of distinction -- the Dominican Republic native's second recording was voted one of the top three Jazz Albums of the Year by Billboard in 1988, another won Best Latin Jazz Album at the first Latin Grammy Awards in 2003, and his Telarc disc Triangulo was nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album at the 2003 Grammy Awards and Best Latin Jazz Album at the Billboard Latin Music Awards -- Camilo also has a notable track record as a classical artist. In 1987, he joined the National Symphony Orchestra of the Dominican Republic to conduct the music of Rimsky-Korsakoff, Beethoven, Dvorak, and Camillo. Eleven years later, his Piano Concerto debuted with the National Symphony Orchestra under the baton of Leonard Slatkin. In 2006, his Telarc recording of George Gershwin's Rhapsody In Blue was voted Best Classical Album by the Latin Recording Academy.
With Camilo on piano, Charles Flores on bass, and Dafnis Prieto on drums, Spirit Of The Moment includes an energetic rendition of John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" a fetching version of Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti," and a final track, "Solar Explorations," that is simply beautiful.