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Michel Camilo: Why Not?

Album Notes

Personnel: Michel Camilo (piano); Chris Hunter (alto & tenor saxophones); Lew Soloff (trumpet); Anthony Jackson (bass); Dave Weckl (drums); Sammy Figueroa, Guarionex Aquino (percussion).

Producers: Michel Camilo, Shigeyuki Kawashima.

Recorded at Clinton Recording Studio, New York, New York from February 25-27, 1985. Includes liner notes by Takao Ogawa.

After arriving in New York from his native Dominican Republic, Michel Camilo proceeded to take the jazz scene by storm. His tremendous keyboard chops, unmistakable feel for Latin jazz and skills as a composer made him one of the most notable young pianists in recent memory. WHY NOT?, Camilo's first session as a leader, is a remarkable debut with many heavyweight sidemen including trumpeter Lew Soloff, bassist Anthony Jackson, and a young Dave Weckl on drums.

The music here is energetic and joyful, just like Camilo himself. The opening "Just Kiddin'" is a bouncing groove with tight horn work and resounding solos by saxophonist Chris Hunter, Camilo, and Sammy Figueroa on congas. In contrast, the complex "Hello and Goodbye" is a challenging piece with ever-changing rhythmic figures and dynamics. The centerpiece of the album is the ebullient title track, which went on to become a standard of sorts, being recorded by many other artists including the Manhattan Transfer. The closing piece is a dynamic work that is part five of Camilo's grand "Suite Sandarine," which would be revealed in more installments on future albums.


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