4.5 stars
Reviewed by Barry O’Sullivan

Saxophonist Gai Bryant maintains a busy performance and recording schedule with her hugely talented Cuban and Latino ensemble Caribé. The music on their latest release has much in common with contemporary jazz in composition and performance, blending Latin and jazz musicians and culture, enhanced with the very personal and distinctive sounds of the individual members of the group. James Greening’s trombone, Steve Marin’s drum kit and congas, Kit Windress on batá drums, and Gai Bryant’s soprano and alto, enhance the standout solos delivered by trumpeter Matt Collins, bassist Maximilian Alduca, tenor saxophonist Julian Gough, and Daniel Pliner on piano. This all results in a joyous and fun celebration of music, well-sequenced and played through like a journey, exemplifying the warmth, sway, and rhythms of Cuban and Latino jazz with each track owning its soundscape structured by a single mind. Gai Bryant always knows exactly where she’s taking the music and how, with each piece having its unique underlying pulse. Throughout the album lies an uplifting playfulness that makes for joyous listening and dancing, with immersions of cha chá, steaming Caribbean rhumba rhythms, and chants sung by Adrian Medina. The album is available digitally via Apple Music and Spotify.