Pablo Menendez & Mezcla Cuban All Stars
Mezcla Cuban All Stars, under the direction of Pablo Menendez, has been a part of the sound-track of the Cuban music scene for the past twenty-five years. A jazz ensemble fusing Afro-Cuban rhythms with yoruba, salsa and rock, Mezcla's music is a genuine celebration of the culture and musical roots of the Pearl of the Antilles. A ray of Havana sunshine that inspired Carlos Santana to call them “the cleanest, freshest water I have ever tasted!" Their latest CD, “I'll See You in C-U-B-A,” (ZOHO), was nominated for the Best of Latin Jazz Awards 2010 as were several of the group's soloists, and their CD "Akimba!," was nominated for a Latin Grammy. A multi-generational ensemble, Mezcla brings together several veteran masters with some the best of young jazz players on the scene today. The all star group includes conga master and Afro Cuban babalao priest Octavio Rodriguez, trap drummer Ruy Lopez-Nussa (Harold Lopéz-Nussa's father), pianist Alexis Bosch (Habana Ensemble & Cesar Lopez), trumpeter Mayquel Gonzalez (Irakere, JoJazz award recipient), saxaphone player Nestor Rodriguez and bassist Juan Pablo Dominguez (Habana Ensemble and Elmer Ferrer).
"Pablo Menendez is not your average everyday Afro-Caribbean or Latin jazz musician. His vision of this music stretches back to traditional jazz and show tunes and up to electric urban blues, modern post-bop, Cuban or Puerto Rican music, and contemporary neo-bop spawned in the 1970s. As a guitarist he is strong individually in these varied styles or disciplines, but as a bandleader he stretches out even further, taking his Mezcla ensemble into these disciplines of jazz and music both beyond and including Latin sensibilities." Michael G. Nastos (Allmusic.com)
"I'll See You in Cuba is an extraordinary celebration of Cuba's dance and song. It is a fiercely vivid account of a culture infused with the most electrifying elements of Afro-Caribbean heritage. As a musical odyssey it holds its own with the very best of Irakere and the Buena Vista Social Club.” (Raul D’Gama Rose, allaboutjazz.com)
“For those who think Cuban music fits in a cigar box, who have Buena Vista vision, or a Ricky Ricardo fixation, for those who think that Cuban music is only Salsa, Timba, Mambo or Afro folkloric: this recording will challenge, rock, annoy you or all three,” says renowned pianist and jazz educator Arturo O’Farrill. “Either way you will be surprised by the incredible fluidity with which these musicians float between genres and worlds.”
Links to Mezcla's music:
"I'll See You in Cuba" Zoho Music, 2010: http://www.zohomusic.comcatalog.php?g=1