HARD BOP ALIVE AND WELL…Imer Santiago: Hidden Journey- Review
by George W. Harris
Horace Silver. Art Blakey. Is that your idea of jazz heaven? St. Peter must have given those keys to trumpeter Imer Santiago, as the Hard Bop kingdom is well guarded by this man along with his team of Rahsaan Barber/as-ts-fl, Bruce Dudley/p, Jon Estes/b and Josh Hunt. You can make a good argument that this styled quintet is the quintessential jazz outfit, and I wouldn’t put up a big argument. It’s hard not to fall in love with jazz after letting the back beat of “Girl’s Night Out” or the supercharged rhythm of “Forthcoming” which also includes Santiago pared with Rod Mcgaha on trumpet. Santiago’s got verifiable chops, but he also mixes it up, using a nifty Harmon mute on the bebopping “Flat 2176” or a plunger on “The Very Thought of You” with vocalist Stephanie Adlington. Dudley and Estes do some marvelous melody on “Lonely Nights” and a funkily Latin “Reminiscence” has some plugged in sounds from Paul Horton/Rhodes and Ivan Santiago/eb to keep things fresh. This disc will make you remember what hooked you on to jazz in the first place. Classic music sounding new.
Jazz Music City Records