Album Remarks & Appraisals:
"Luis Perdomo is the regular pianist in Conrad Herwig's septet. He delivers a sterling, elegant solo on "Ping Pong," the opening cut on The Latin Side of Wayne Shorter, recorded live at the Blue Note in New York. He anchors the first five songs with such skill that at the end of "This Is for Albert," Herwig singles him out for the audience's applause. Unfortunately, it's to say goodbye. When salsa legend Eddie Palmieri takes over on piano, the concert is sent into orbit. Perdomo never stood a chance.
"Adam's Apple" may not be Shorter's greatest composition, but Palmieri makes a convincing case with syncopated montuno vamps that drive drummer Robby Ameen's funky backbeat and inspire baritone saxophonist Ronnie Cuber's sly comments and robust soloing. Palmieri taps into "Masquelero"'s heart of darkness and Herwig's tone on trombone is elusive and introverted, before trumpeter Brian Lynch takes a note-bending solo that slides itself into the piano's rhythms like mortar. Herwig and Lynch's simpatico playing is the highlight of "Footprints," each of them winding similarly smooth and uncluttered solos around Pedro Martinez' congas.
This is the third installment in Herwig's Latin Side series (following interpretations of Coltrane and Miles) and features silky virtuosic musicianship applied to intricate, intelligent, original compositions. Shorter's tunes are well-known and highly regarded as being flexible enough to suit a variety of instrumental lineups. Since he's gathered his own multi-horn groups in the past, the sound of these arrangements doesn't stray too far from his initial conceptions. But if you know a person who thinks jazz is difficult to get, lacks melody, or you can't dance to it, this is a CD that will change their mind." -AllAboutJazz
Down Beat (p.82) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "Cut live at the Blue Note, Herwig's churning charts flash teeth and his LATIN SIDE compadres get the crowd howling to the raw, earthy grit of hypnotic lines, dazzling ensembles and all-out solos..."
JazzTimes (p.73) - "For this live set at the Blue Note in New York City, Herwig assembled the ace Latin-jazz rhythm section of pianist Luis Perdomo, bassist Ruben Rodriguez, drummer Robby Ameen and percussionist Pedro Martinez. Ameen and Martinez dazzle..."
Personnel: Conrad Herwig (trombone); Ronnie Cuber (baritone saxophone); Brian Lynch (trumpet); Eddie Palmieri (piano); Robby Ameen (drums).
Liner Note Author: Bill Milkowski.
Recording information: Blue Note, New York, NY (03/16/2007/03/17/2007).
Arrangers: Conrad Herwig; Brian Lynch.
On nearly all his projects, trombonist Conrad Herwig is known for his tasteful arrangements, excellent playing, and keen instinct for top-notch personnel, characteristics he's brought to bear on his Latin treatments of compositions by jazz legends like John Coltrane and Miles Davis. Herwig applies the same standard to his live recording, THE LATIN SIDE OF WAYNE SHORTER, taking on compositions by the great saxophonist, including "Ping Pong," "Adam's Apple," and "Footprints," and infusing them with healthy doses of Brazilian, Afro-Cuban, and other Latin rhythms. Shorter's dynamic tunes provide the perfect backdrop for Herwig's impressive facility for reinvention.
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