Juan Carlos Quintero
Juan Carlos Quintero is a very, very good guitar player who teaches at the College of the Canyons in California. He is of Colombian extraction, and this album is the result of his getting together with other very, very good musicians and playing Latin jazz. Everyone is very accomplished and all the musicians work well together. All these songs sound great, and the interplay of the musicians is at times quite stirring.
That having been said, let me admit something: Los Musicos just isn’t very inspired. Being good just isn’t enough sometimes; this album has no edge and no real fire, and when a song is done it kind of slips away from memory, leaving no trace. I just listened to “Melina’s Rumba,” the (probably very difficult to learn) opener, and cannot remember a single riff or melodic line. Probably my fault, but maybe it’s Quintero’s fault too. I’m just not hooked in by it.
Latin jazz is usually more about pounding and passion than this kind of smooth-rockin’, almost elevatory stuff. It’s perfectly good and pleasant and well-done — I especially like “La Cumbia y la Luna” and the title track — and in the right mood this might be a good thing to throw on for a harsh Sunday morning hangover, or if your parents are over or something. I’m not denying that it’s a well-done piece of acoustic jazz — I’m just saying I’m not going to be listening to it much in the future. But if you like softish easy-listening stuff with a Latin touch, this is your disc.