"...Clave Heart is pretty amazing, a mixture of religious singing and rhythms from Cuba and an absolutely modern Brooklyn jazz sensibility. It is a strange combination at first, because the music seems so right, so authentic in its intent, yet there’s nothing traditional or academic about it at all. It all just works right, the group conception, the improvisation, the sound, rough and natural.
...[T]his is a different project; there’s nothing like it that I’ve heard. It’s Latin jazz, I suppose, but the term seems antiquated and inadequate to describe what’s going on. It’s just bright and new modern music that knows a ton about the Afro Cuban tradition, and a ton about the modern jazz tradition, and isn’t afraid to take liberties with it all."
"On Clave Heart this music emerges with much swagger and rhythmic intensity as each song unfurls narrating the story of a journey that is flush with melodic invention, harmonic complexity and rhythmic excitement... [T]his is largely due to an inherent feel for the clave beat that propels Afro-Caribbean and other Latin American music. Clearly the throb of clave is buried deep in the heart and soul of these musicians... All of this leaves the listener with a feeling of hypnosis at experiencing a wonderful, unforgettable record form a group that prides itself on a musical curiosity that knows no bounds."
Read about it in All About Jazz
CD Reviews for Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea:
¡¡Chosen as one of top 5 Latin Jazz Releases of 2008
by All About Jazz NY!!
"Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea is an intoxicating
blend of Brazilian rhythms and styles and jazz sensibilities... The music is inspired and fiery... For fans of Brazilian music, Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea is a no-brainer. Go out and get it and you won’t be disappointed. The material is interesting and engaging. The band plays with authenticity and taste."
-Dave Miele, JazzImprov NY, April 2008
photos from the Dublin Underground by Andre Pilarczyk: firstname.lastname@example.orgY, April 2008
"What is remarkable about this record is that at no point does the listener feel as if a band member is soloing. The group plays so fluidly together that each instrument is merely a layer adding to the overall sound... Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea is a solid, interesting album from a very capable band that is deserving of more recognition."
-David Miller, All About Jazz, January 10, 2008
David Miller, All About Jazz, January 10, 2008
"Rather than take the path of least resistance and target audience hips and feet, the band opts to work out of a less predictable bag. The flavor of the dance floor is still palpable, but shaded with a challenging succession of metric and harmonic complexities that keep the players and potential listeners from slipping into autopilot."
-Derek Taylor, Bagatellen.com, January 11, 2008
Derek Taylor, Bagatellen.com, January 11, 2008
"[B]ased on "Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea" (Deep Tone), Grupo Los Santos appears more jazz-worthy than many well-known Latin jazz bands."
-Owen Cordle, News & Observer , January 20, 2008
"Cuban music is about style and rhythm, and Grupo Los Santos displays both of these qualities in abundance... The musicians focus less on traditional instrumentnation and arrangements... and instead push their musical skills on percussion [sic], saxophone, bass, and guitars to build a contemporary sound while respecting the music's roots. Call it jazz or call it world fusion, Grupo Los Santos is adept at whatever it could be."
-Paula E. Kirman, Global Rhythm March 2008
Paula E. Kirman, Global Rhythm March 2008
"Shot through with languid Caribbean nonchalance (and the sensual humidity of Brazil on "A Dança Dos Santos"), GLS retain a cosmopolitanism that's undeniably born of the Big Apple. A sunshine state of mind. "
-Siobhán Long, The Irish Times, March 21, 2008
"The 'blessed' fusion of Grupo Los Santos consists of acoustic bass, electric guitar, a hint of rock energy, with drumset guided by the sound of batá drums and a sax played in the best style of bossa nova and samba."
-Emma Hunt, el diario/LA PRENSA (Nueva York), August 2, 2002
". . . [T]he only faith to which these four American musicians appear to devote themselves is the impassioned and serious investigation of traditional Cuban and Brazilian rhythms, in order to incorporate them into their own jazz-based compositions. These interpretive experiments have succeeded in creating a mix at times explosive and sizzling, like the Brazilian coastline or Afrocaribbean flavor. . . others exude melodies that produce that certain languid sensation which beckons us to more intimate places."
-Diana Vargas, VIDAHOY (NY), March 15, 2002
CD Reviews for Noches en el Taller:
"A tasty fusion of genres. . . that shows their deep admiration of Cuban music (particularly the percussive richness of the batás) and Brazilian music, with sporadic and fortunate jazz embellishments. . . Tunes with the feeling of Son, Rumba, and Bossa Nova, interpreted correctly but with an unobtrusive and minimalist approach."
-Henri Salgâo, Músico Pro magazine, July 2001, Vol. 8, No. 3
"[A] labor of love by a group of New York City musicians with the desire to produce some creative music. . . [T]heir group efforts really show in the different styles represented ranging from jazz, Cuban, Brazilian, and other styles of music.
A commendable performance."
-Victor Rendón, Latin Percussionist magazine, Spring 2001 Issue #12
"[T]he band is not into using many exotic native instruments in creating their Latin scene. They develop their sound primarily from conventional tools and are able to take an authentic musical stance with them. . . Los Santos is a cooperative effort, and each of these young musicians plays a strong hand in making the group work. It is a very listenable recording."
-Frank Rubolino, Cadence magazine, February 2001 Vol. 27, No.2
“Relaxed, authentic Latin grooves underpin an open-ended, intimate jazz quartet setting to create a truly unique and satisfying kind of jazz. . . I find this mix of inspired, personal improvs, laid back latin grooves and a warm, empathic group sound irresistable. You can tell this is a band that loves making music together.”
-Keith Ganz, CD Baby website
"Subtlety is a cornerstone of the Grupo Los Santos: you won't find far-out solos or jarring riffs here: they use the standard American instruments of jazz and rock players to incorporate sounds played by indigenous ethnic musicians from Brazil and Latin America. . .
NOCHES EN EL TALLER presents less Americanized tones than some of the groups coming out of Brazil itself. . . CRUZANDO EL MAR introduces a fine sax solo and a more lively tone from the outset, yet retains its listenability for fans of jazz of the late 1950s and early 60s. . . From Brazilian jazz a la Jobim to Afro beats, CRUZANDO EL MAR offers many changes throughout: all of which are most pleasurable and accessible to the general jazz listener."
-World Discoveries Net October 2004