Ritmo Pa Ti – 2020
Oscar Hernández & Friends
A meeting during the Covid-19 period between
Afro-Cuban jazz greats from New York and Los Angeles
Covid-19 may have made most live performances largely impossible, but by using modern technology, new music is still being created.
Oscar Hernández, a brilliant pianist, arranger-composer, and leader of the Spanish Harlem Orchestra, was largely self-taught and gained early experience working with Ismael Miranda, Ray Barretto, Rubén Blades, Tito Puente, Celia Cruz, Willie Colón and many others before becoming a bandleader.
This version of Hernández’s “Ritmo Para Ti” has each of the seven musicians performing individually and somehow sounding very much like a tight band.
“Ritmo Para Ti” has stirring solos by tenor-saxophonist Bobby Franceschini and trumpeter Jonathan Powell, and an exciting rhythm section consisting of Hernández, bassist Oskar Cataya, drummer Jimmy Branly, Roberto Quintero on congas, and Luisito Quintero on timbales.
The camerawork and editing are impeccable, the Hernandez original is infectious, and one soon forgets that the musicians were not actually in the same room with each other.