Michael Camilo,
Spirit of the Moment
(Telarc, 2007)

Although Michael Camilo, in his three-decade career, has recorded in many settings, he is probably best known for his trio work, consisting of straight-ahead jazz piano accompanied by bass and drums. That's the case with Spirit of the Moment, and let's say right off that it takes a lot of talent, musicality and inventiveness to keep a sense of sameness out of the music.

Camilo has the talent.

Recorded live to two-track, Spirit of the Moment is divided into three chapters, each consisting of four songs. The first chapter is made up of original material, the second consists of jazz classics and the final offers more experimental material. The intent seems to be to signal a listener that if you don't get into what's playing now, hang on a few minutes because something different is coming. The approach keeps the CD fresh.

To give it consistency, Camilo relies a lot on Latin and Spanish rhythms, from the Afro-Cuban beat given to "Just Now" and the Wayne Shorter composition "Nefertiti" to the flamenco overtones present in "Nardis."

It's a well-planned CD, well executed.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

1 March 2008

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