Bman’s Blues Report: Left Angel Records artist: Bill Ortiz – Points of View

I just had the opportunity to review the most recent release, Points of View, from Bill Ortiz, and it’s a cool fusion of Latin jazz and rock. Opening with Sunburst, ex Santana trumpet player Bill Ortiz leads off his third release with an exciting track. With Matt Clark setting a piano vamp, and Dennis Chambers on drums, Sunburst follows in the footsteps of the great horn players of jazz with his muted horn and beautiful phrasing over the well crafted ocean of sound. Ortiz does pull his mute and continues solid lead work over a driving drum line and agressive piano work. Very nice. On Alex the Great, a super rhythm section of Dennis Chambers on drums, Marcus Shelby on bass, John Santos on percussion and Javier Navarrette on percussion, this bottom is tight. Brian Jackson lays down a real nice piano theme and Ortiz on trumpet and Azar Lawrence on sax really push the track on lead. Excellent track. Ain’t Gon Change A Thang has a really fine groove set by Chambers, Navarrette and Santos and Ortiz and Lawrence set the basic tonal theme. Lawrence takes the first solo line and he is really cruising. Ortiz’s trumpet solo has a synthisized alteration giving it a really cool sound and his feel for the groove grows as the track progresses. Another great track. With a much looser feel and excellent rhythmic bottom, Okonkole y Trompa really is a fine track. Percussion set this African like under rhythm and well placed piano chords punctuate layers of soloing by Ortiz and lead vocal by Santos. Very nice. Fusion/Noche Cubana is another great track with very active latin percussion laying the groundwork for peaceful yet flavorful trumpet lead by Ortiz and excellent vocal work by Lawrence, Santos and Christelle Durandy. Oriental Folk Song is a reall strong progressive track with excellent drumming by Chambers complimenting Jackson on piano. Excellent sax work by Lawrence and pure lead work by Ortiz make this one of my favorites on the release. Wrapping the release is My Lord And Master, a structured ballad with Clark on focused piano lead and the strong trumpet lead by Ortiz laid nicely over top. This is really a strong release and one that I’m looking forward to hear many more times.

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