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Join Santa Salsera on Facebook! Listen to Azucar y Candela every Wednesday 6-8 pm. Featured Album: CHEMBO CORNIEL, Things I Wanted To Do
Nuyorican percussionist Wilson "Chembo" Corniel's dry tone, impeccable timekeeping and super tasty playing make him one of the most sought-after congueros in New York. Known as a team player in small ensemble settings, Chembo's roots as a salsa sideman go back to the 70s. In recent years, Chembo has forged a respectable role for himself as a Latin jazz leader, and this is my favorite of his three solo albums to date. READ MORE>>>
His Grupo Chemboró draws strength from a sparkling roster of guests and sidemen, many of whom contribute their own compositions, lending startling breadth and diversity to this 11-course meal. Chembo has consistently integrated the sound of batá drums (sacred Cuban "speaking" drums) in his Latin jazz, melding the folkloric with the urban savvy of trapset drummer Vince Cherico and the rest of Chembo's jazz-serious quintet. Welcome Cuban flavors get tossed in the mix via pianist Elio Villafranca, on his first outing with Chemboró, as well as guests such as Pedrito Martinez, David Oquendo and Iliana Santamaria. Other spotlights go to Jimmy Bosch, who drops some trombone moñas on a Patato tribute descarga (5), Gennaro Tedesco and Octavio Kotan who rip the title track with electric guitars (7), and Ludovic Meier who swings the accordion on (9). With all this to choose from, perhaps my favorite is the mystical Marty Sheller tune "The Sultan" (6), which epitomizes all the pleasures of Chembo's personal recipe for combining the modern languages of Latin jazz.