Jennifer Zea & The Antipodean Collective – The Latin Soul (Mamawata/Rhythmethod) CD REVIEW

PRODUCER NATHAN HAINES says that The Latin Soul, by transplanted Venezuelan Zea, “redefines the term Latin music”.
It’s certainly a big, bold recording that matches her big, bold voice, but there’s little redefinition going on here, just another bunch of NZ jazz musicians getting off on an exotic energy.
There’s nothing much wrong with The Latin Soul, which features commendable playing by two gifted pianists, Kevin Field and Jonathan Crayford, together with a backing ensemble that does its best to swing with organic grace through the expected Latin moves.
It’s just that neither Zea’s vocalising – which is exuberant but unsubtle – or her admittedly stylistically varied songs, manage to make this more than another competent routine of acoustic-based Latin-styled grooves.
And the horns, which deserve to be perfectly embedded in amongst the busy rhythms, sound piped in from another place. GARY STEEL
Music = 3
Sound = 3

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