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Artist: Manuel Valera
Date Released: November 16, 2004 (recorded 2003)
Produced By: Manuel Valera
- Metaphorically Speaking
- Forma Nueva
- Drume Negrita
- Prey to Indulgence
- Say It (Over and Over Again)
- En Cinco
- Como NG
- Things Aren't What They Seem
Despite the cheesy cover, Manuel Valera’s Forma Nueva is a captivating jazz album that sounds remarkably classic. Relying on pure jazz musicianship instead of recording effects, Valera returns to a time where the players were more important than the producers and object of a good jazz album was to relax and enjoy the smooth grooves rather than trying to amaze by being as far out as possible. With strong influences from his Latin roots, its hard to believe that this is Valera’s self-produced recording debut. Throughout the album Valera’s piano tangos with Seamus Blake’s warm saxophone and backed by John Patitucci’s bass and drums by Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez and Bill Stewart. This is a definite listen for anyone into jazz at all, and a good look at one of the best jazz talents of the current generation. Michael Ardaiolo