Monday, August 25, 2014


To cap off a beautiful late summer night, I attended a set of forward thinking, rhythmic world/Latin jazz courtesy of a newly formed trio headed by pianist (and old friend and schoolmate of mine from university days) Jeremy Ledbetter.

In a program of mostly originals, it was like being taken on a boat cruise to various ports of call along the Caribbean and Latin Americas, sampling and tasting a fine gumbo of rhythms, beats, cultures, and pleasures.   

Jeremy’s compositions and playing fused elements of Thelonious Monk, Chucho Valdes and Oscar Peterson into a style that is truly organic and uniquely his own.   Starting with Little Bell, he cooks with a fine rhythm section of bassist Rich Brown and percussionist Luis Orbegoso that brings a driving groove to the music and keeps the audience wanting more of this exotic cuisine of music.  

The classic Sonny Rollins composition “St. Thomas” has been taken into a 7/4 groove that leads into a very rhythmic and tribal percussion solo by the master of the conguero, Luis Orbegoso.     “Her New Wings” features a duo with melodica and bass by Rich Brown in which he plays chordal patterns on the bass and does effective pedaling to set a foundation for Ledbetter’s moving melody on the melodica.     His new composition “Mais Un” is a funky, exciting Brazilian clave composition that will make you want to jump on your feet and dance to the music, while “Two Cousins” closes the night fusing both elements of Afro-Cuban and Reggae beats into a highly original piece.

After all these years, Jeremy Ledbetter is becoming a fine expert and practitioner of the Latin jazz sound, and his forward thinking music should be experienced, not just heard, whenever he plays in town.


(Jeremy Ledbetter, Rich Brown, Luis Orbegoso)

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