I have only come across one other of Ken’s albums, 2014’s ‘Jazz Horn Redux’ and this is a totally different beast both in terms of personnel and style. Much of this album feels incredibly Latin and Cuban, and Wiley shares the lead voices with Mark Leggett (acoustic guitar) and Dan Higgins (flute), although a special mention must be made of Bernie Dresel (drums) and Luis Conte (percussion) for the incredible feeling they pour into the music. There are very few bands of any style which are led by a French Horn player (Wiley also provides piano), and it does take the ear a little while to realise exactly what is going on. But what makes this album works so well is that Ken realises that often he is better placed to provide a supporting role and lets one of the others take the lead. It is certainly the arrangements and switching between different leads, combined with the superb percussion, which provides the album with a real life and vitality. It is often very bass and woodwind oriented, but the acoustic guitar also has a major part to play within the sound as a whole.

Balanced, sophisticated, this Latin jazz album is inviting, warm and full of exotic delights.

Rating: 7/10

Links:
https://kenwiley.com/

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