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CD REVIEW: Frank Villafane - Punto De Vista
By Don Sechelski - 04/27/2009 - 08:41 PM EDT

Artist: Frank Villafane
Album: Punto De Vista
Genre: Latin Jazz
Technical Grade: 9/10
Production/Musicianship Grade: 10/10
Commercial Value: 7/10
Performance Skill: 10/10
Best Songs: Obsesion, Esperando, Despechado
CD Review:

Punto De Vista (Viewpoint) is the new CD from jazz artist, Frank Villafane. Blending traditional Latin rhythms and forms with contemporary stylings, Villafane offers “virtual Latin jazz”.  All parts were composed, arranged, and performed by Frank Villafane.

The CD starts off with a classic cha-cha, Esperando (Waiting). Villafane’s clean, rhythmic piano style works in a trio with the congas and bass. Brisas Del Caribe (Caribbean Breezes) is an Afro-Cuban adaptation of Chopin Waltz Opus 64 No. 2.  If Chopin is rolling over in his grave, it’s to a hot Latin beat. Villafane adds vibes to the mix as the song mellows out.

Obsesion is one of my favorite cuts on the CD. Villafane covers the Don Pedro Flores classic with style and panache. The ensemble features muted trumpet and flute along with Villafane’s piano stylings.  Despechado slows down the frantic dance rhythms for a cool oasis of strings and Villafane’s poignant piano. Poignancy is, in fact, the name of the song that ends the CD. Beginning with a Jaco Pastorius style bass solo, the short piece quickly morphs into a Brazilian beat before ending too soon.

Punto De Vista is the CD for those who love Latin rhythms and cool piano jazz. The arrangements are interesting and inventive and the production is clean. This is great music for a party or for or quiet listening, preferably with a glass of wine.

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