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Terry Heimat Studios LLC

Our teaser created All About Jazz!

Miami is a melting pot where people and musics of all stripes share space and influence, cross-pollinating to create a sound and culture like no other. That fact provides the foundation for this upbeat collection. Blending elements sourced from numerous musical styles and languages including salsa, pop, samba, jazz and R&B, among others, multi-instrumentalist Camilo Valencia and drummer Richard Bravo create unique and flavorful dishes served hot by a rotating cast.

Opening on "CCU (Coronary Care Unit)," the team paints the town funky while saxophonist Ed Calle and trumpeter Jason Carder fire away. A musical "thank you" note to those who have cared for Valencia during his heart transplant surgeries, it paints a picture of positivity as the album's starting point. Two complementary cuts—the title track, a sly and catchy number with Dave Fernandez blowing on tenor saxophone and Milton Salcedo cooking on piano, and "Hurricane Jimenez," where the pianist and Valencia (on EWI) deal in infectious joy— follow and solidify a signature sound. Then, just as quickly, Valencia and Bravo go someplace completely different with a glossy "Misty" featuring trumpeter Arturo Sandoval.

As things progress, the co-leaders continue to please with one rhythmically energized number after another. "Songo Bop," a fusion of its two titular styles, proves to be a serious standout. "Funkeando," with Fernandez moving over to alto, Ismael Vergara adding some sinuous soprano and Philip Lassiter bringing it on trumpet, uses its name's first syllable as a calling card. "Papadin," with the Bravo family on percussion and Jorge Dobal putting his melodious trombone to good use, proves zesty and satisfying. And "Cafe Union" and the fiery-and-folkloric "Guanabacoa Streets," each eyeing Cuba from completely different angles, prove captivating. Add to that a tender "One Heart at a Time," honoring a young murder victim whose heart now beats in Valencia's body, and a bonus-track alternate version of "Misty, " featuring vocalist Jakson King, and the story is complete. Miami has so much music to share and influence to bear, and Camilo Valencia and Richard Bravo bring that truth to light for all to hear.

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