Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet
"Diablo en Brooklyn"
It may be titled "Diablo en Brooklyn," but the sixth album by Gabriel Alegria Afro-Peruvian Sextet is the group's first CD recorded entirely in Peru. The title alludes to Alegria bringing the "Son de Los Diablos" tradition from his native country to his current home in Coney Island. The group, which delighted audiences at last summer's Xerox Rochester International Jazz Festival, features trumpeter Alegria with saxophonist Laura Andrea Leguía, percussionist Freddy "Huevito" Lobatón, bassist Mario Cuba, drummer Hugo Alcázar, and guitarist Yuri Juárez. All are superb instrumentalists.
"Diablo en Brooklyn," consisting of live performances interspersed between movements of Alegria's "The Brooklyn Suite," is so full of spontaneous energy, you may feel like you are in the club with the musicians. On a typical cut, the horns effortlessly interweave over the complex polyrhythms provided by Lobatón and Alcázar. Among the live performances is a highly original rendition of George Gershwin's "Summertime" filtered through an Afro-Peruvian sensibility. The sextet has grown together over the last decade and emerged a tight unit with a unique sound.