Oscar D'Leon, JVC Jazz Festival 2004

Salsa Jazz Jam

Oscar DíLeon

 

Carnegie Hall, July 26, 2004:

 

†††††† As we expected, the Salsa Jazz Jam event of The JVC Jazz Festival 2004 is hot, hot, hot! The Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band is stupendous and builds the audience to a state of extreme excitement and utter euphoria. This is the musical primer for what is to come, Oscar DíLeon.

†††††† Oscar DíLeon starts at 9:30 P.M., with a large 10-piece band. The first song, a Latin music standard, is a tune even I can easily recognize, ďGuantanamera.Ē This version is spirited, enchanting and very dynamic. A trio of trumpets plays the lead melody in unison for a very strong musical effect.

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A Trio of Trumpets

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Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

†††††† Oscar DíLeon is an extremely charismatic vocalist. He expressively plays the maracas and dances fluidly, with a smooth and elegant style, as he sings. The band displays exceptional team spirit, as Oscar dances and sings an inspiring answer/response vocal passage with the band chanting in unison. Intriguing double-cowbells are seamlessly integrated in a magical polyrhythmic moment, creating a syncopated, lively and spirited Latin Samba.

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Oscar D'Leon

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Photos: ©A.J. Alfaro

†††††† The band transitions into a new song that is slow and sincere. The vocals are excellent and extremely moving with deep emotion. This composition is in a Latin cha-cha musical style. This is a tremendous band chart, with a colorful horn arrangement, that is tightly syncopated in unison. Oscar dances effortlessly with his cowbell.

†††††† A few songs later, Oscar plays the bass to a slow and emphatic musical introduction. His vocal is lovely, both passionate and sincere. Oscar sings and dances the samba with the bass, as audience goes wild!

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Oscar D'Leon

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Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

†††††† Oscar DíLeon performs a vocal duet with the guiro player, who steps up to the front. They perform an answer/response and then unison vocal passage of deep emotional strength. The piano solo is outstanding with melodic accents, great use of rests and relentless 2-handed chord melodies. The two percussionists dance in unison with Oscar.

†††††† A devoted fan gives Oscar the Venezuelan flag. Oscar delivers a truly sincere vocal presentation with the flag. Oscar DíLeon goes into a chant as he recognizes all the Latin countries in the house. Everyone cheers as they hear their respective country identified.

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Oscar D'Leon

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Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

†††††† Next, Oscar DíLeon performs a song of the deepest emotion. This brings Oscar to tears. This outstanding vocal is complemented by imaginative piano glissando. This song is very heart wrenching and a slow and majestic ballad. The entire ensemble joins in with this deep and emotional story being told.

†††††† Jimmy Bosch joins the band for a very upbeat samba composition. The percussionists play polyrhythmic patterns in tight unison, as the horn arrangement is very robust. The band quiets as Jimmy Bosch solos, hot on his trombone. Oscar is amazing on the maracas and Jimmy dips as he accents on the horn. Three trombones join Jimmy to make a trombone quartet. This is an extremely spirited passage. The four trombones create such a heavenly sound from the creative musical arrangement.

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Four Trombones featuring Jimmy Bosch

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Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro

†††††† Oscar DíLeon puts on quite a performance tonight. The spontaneous excitement generated by his unique charisma is amazing to behold. From truly heartfelt ballads to extremely hot samba ensemble arrangements, Oscar DíLeon and his band touch all the musical extremes that can be achieved. The audience is wowed by this incredible display of musical talent. Bravo!

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The Fantastic Band

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Photo: ©A.J. Alfaro


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A.J. Alfaro

and.the.beat.goes.on@worldnet.att.net

 

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