CD of the Month Club- June 2006

June 2006
Ray Mantilla

"Good Vibrations"

Ray Mantilla is one of the most respected percussionists in both jazz and Latin music circles. From his initial collaborations with the late NEA Jazz Master Ray Barretto through his work with diverse artists encompassing a variety of styles like Josephine Baker, Herbie Mann, Sonny Stitt, Freddie Hubbard, Tito Puente and numerous others, Ray is always up to the task. Señor Mantilla has also been an excellent bandleader fronting his famed Space Station ensemble and the Jazz Tribe. Never one to follow tried and true formulas, Ray injects his personal vitality into every musical selection on which he performs.

For his sophomore effort on Savant, Ray continues to raise the bar and presents another musical delight with many surprises sure to please the most discerning ears and nimble feet since no Latin jazz recording is complete if it doesn't provide happy music for the dancers. Good Vibrations starts with a Latinized rendition of Flying Home and concludes with the amazing original Bari Con Batá with its myriad of rhythms and blaring baritone sax played to perfection by Enrique Fernández while Ray leads the group through the twists and turns of what is the album's tour de force.

As is his custom, Ray surrounds himself with quality band mates. Not to be overlooked is the fine producing of Cedar Walton who, as usual, makes invaluable contributions to yet another recording. On Good Vibrations Ray Mantilla once again proves that exquisite music comes from the heart as well as from the wealth of experiences he brings with him. There's nothing left for you to do but place this disc in your nearest player and get your ration of good vibes that'll make you feel like snapping your fingers, tapping your toes and dancing the mambo!

-Jazz89 Kuvo.org