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Jazz Review: Jorge Perez-Albela – The Time is Now

Travis Rogers, Jr.

Jazz Review: Jorge Perez-Albela – The Time is Now

Entertainment
5 mins
August 3, 2020

What a great year for albums and it's only July! Jorge Perez-Albela has just released The Time is Now and apparently that title is correct. His wife Sissy Castrogiovanni has recently released her own solo album called Terra and now she is the featured vocalist on The Time is Now, as well. 

The Line-up

With Jorge and Sissy are pianist Tim Ray, bassist Jesse Williams, along with guest saxophonist Lihi Haruvi, vocalist Santiago Paredes, and trumpeter Phil Grenadier who join Jorge who is on drums, Peruvian cajon, and percussion, as well as vocals. It’s a bit of a reunion as Tim, Jesse, Lihi, Sissy and Jorge were together on Sissy’s album.

That same tight playing, incredible singing, and brilliant composing have carried over well to The Time is Now. As he states on his website, “The ten tracks that make up The Time is Now reflect an array of musical traditions and are tied together by a jazz sensibility.  Inspired by the saying “Music unites us. Music connects us to the truth.” 

Compositions

The music is composed and arranged by Jorge with the exception of Raices, composed and arranged by Pepe Vasquez. Jorge also wrote or co-wrote the lyrics for every song.

Patricia Albela provides excellent liner notes and explanations of each track and I will refer you to her notes.

The Album

The album opens with The Mirror and Jorge’s drumming and percussion before being joined by the excellent Tim Ray on piano. Sissy’s vocals and Lihi Haruvi’s soprano sax join forces to create a powerful chorus. Jesse Williams’ bass is as brilliant as ever and that piano-bass-drums section is fascinating.  

Throughout the album, Jesse Williams shows why he was picked by the husband and wife team on both of their recent albums. His opening solo and later return on A Mis Padres (a tribute to Jorge’s parents) is moving and emotional. The bass lines on Shing Star are doubled with the piano and it bounces beautifully.

Sissy’s vocals are as emotional and meaningful as one could ever hope. She is amazing in her range and reach and richness. She does not disappoint in any regard. 

Tim Ray’s piano is terrific. Jay Bird Koder, brilliant Jazz guitarist and sought-after session musician, once counseled young improvisors, “Think about what you want to play next…then don’t.” He was talking about creating space for the other artists on stage or in the studio with you. Tim Ray is an excellent example of such a strategy. In moments when you expect to hear the piano, you don’t. He lets the moment last before moving on. That is a treasure.

N.I.T.T (Now Is The Time) is smoking hot fun. The whole is tight with a pause for beautiful vocalizations from Sissy. 

Jorge himself is just fantastic. From drums to cajon to all other percussion, Jorge is great fun and fascinating to hear. He can swing with the best and then simply blister the skins. His compositions and arrangements are worthy of great notice and admiration. 

He moves from the soulfulness of El Reto to the samba of Pra Brasil to moving emotion of Gratitude to the bone-crushing funk of N.I.T.T., Jorge has composed, arranged, and lead a marvelous album.

Do yourself a favor and listen to Sissy’s Terra and Jorge’s The Time is Now back to back and over and over.

You’re welcome.

This is the Time is everything you want to hear. There are no lags or weak moments. Every track, every note, every beat is meaningful and right on time.



~Travis Rogers, Jr. is The Jazz Owl


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Travis Rogers, Jr.

Travis is a contributor in religion and entertainment.

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