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Elio Villafranca: Incantacions encantaciones

- CD Reviews

Elio Villafranca: Incantacions encantaciones
2003 Pimienta Records

Elio Villafranca on Piano
Pat Martino on Guitar
Terell Stafford on Trumpet and Flugelhorn
Jane Bunnett on Soprano Sax and Flutes
Dafnis Prieto on Drums
Carlos Henriquez on Bass
Wilson Corneil on Congas and Tambores Batá
Pedro Martinez on Vocals and Tambores Batá
Giovana Guevara on Vocals

Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower
January 3, 2006

This CD is an exciting new blend of Afro-Cuban, Latin clave, abstract jazz, danceable rumba, with a fusion of vocals, brass, guitar, and piano. Elio Villafranca shows great promise as a composer of this eclectic and energized genre. His Cuban roots shine through the expert blendings by guest musicians, Jane Bunnett, Pat Martino, and Terell Stafford.

(All music composed by Elio Villafranca).

Notable tracks:

#2 –El Hombre – A lively introduction of brass and piano leads to lead guitar, always hopping with background Latin rhythm and building volume. The Latin percussive elements, congas and tambores batá, give this CD class and charisma. Pat Martino never sounded better, with rapid fingering and accentuated final notes. A brilliant fragment of piano mambo is thrown in for energy.

#4 –Assumption – A fanfare of brass and percussion opens this track, with Villafranca giving way to Stafford on trumpet, but not for long. A big band sound closes this piece, with horns, piano, guitar, drums, and Latin percussion combining for tantalizing texture.

#6 –Cacique – A conga beat introduces this track, with mellow, muted brass and prominent, poignant bass. Villafranca has composed an earthy resonant piece that features his virtuosic and virulent skills to the maximum. An atonal horn finally gives way to a bass-piano ending.

#9 –Orishaoko – A fascinating track, Villafranca introduces the flute to this Cuban combination of percussion, trumpet, bass, and persuasive piano. A rippling flourish ends this track, tempting the listener to stay.

Elio Villafranca and Wilson Corneil will be the May 1, 2006 featured artists at the - AC Pianocraft, Inc. Piano-Plus Jazz Series.

Monty Python's Spamalot Tickets in Shubert Theater, Elton John LeStat tickets, Wizard of Oz Wicked Tickets, and the new Disney event, Tarzan Tickets are all available Theater Broadway Tickets.

For more information, contact Dr. Roberta E. Zlokower at