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SpanishEnglishAncestral - (Iroko) Released 2013

CD Review : Ancestral by Jorge Luis Torres "Papiosco" & Iroko Project
Independent Release (Iroko) 2013
Review by Bill Tilford, all rights reserved

Percussionist Jorge Luis Torres "Papiosco" will already be known to many listeners for his work with Jane Bunnett's Spirits of Havana project; he was also a founding member of Jesus Alemany's Cubanismo project and has worked with several of Cuba's most prominent stars including Pablo Milanés and Chucho Valdés.  This is his debut project under his own name, and the Iroko in Iroko Project refers both to a tree sacred to the Yoruba and one of the Orishas. The core of the group is a quintet with violinist Yosvany Castañeda Valdés in a key melodic role.  Although the arrangements and compositions are more advanced than the work of groups like Bongo-Logic and Shades of Jade, the overall sound is reminiscent of those groups.  There are several cameo appearances by established names such as Jane Bunnett, Elmer Ferrer and Hilario Durán among others.   
The recording opens and closes with hard-charging descargas (the closing number, Easy Come, Easy Go, would appeal especially to fans of Los Papines and the Pedrito Martinez Group).   Melodically speaking, this is a fairly conventional but very well done Latin Jazz album.   The distinguishing feature that makes it worth a closer look is actually the percussion arrangements, which are richer and deeper than one hears in most projects of its type (on most of the selections, Papiosco is playing a half dozen different percussion instruments, and batá drums also figure prominently in some of the tracks), 
This is a worthy addition to your Latin Jazz collection and recommended especially for percussionists, who will enjoy the depth of the instrumentation used here; violinists, who will enjoy the key role of the violin, and fans of the other groups mencioned above (bear in mind, of course, that this recording is 90% instrumental).    

The website for this group is


1. Timbaloque
2. Siluetas
3. El Jamaquino
4. From Guantanamo to Toronto
5. New Latin
6. Ancestral
7. Broken Steps
8. Easy Come, Easy Go

Personnel in Ancestral

Role - InstrumentName
Leader, Congas, Percussion              Jorge Luis Torres "Papiosco" 
Acoustic Bass, Keyboards (on 7), Vocals Roberto Riverón Mederos
Acoustic Piano Jorge Betancourt Valero
Violin Yosvany Castañeda Valdés
Batá, Bonkoenchemilla Reimundo Sasa Reinoldes
Guest Artists

Jane Bunnett (flute on 6, Soprano 6 on 5,7); Elmer Ferrer (acoustic guitar on 2); Jorge Emilio Maza Valdés (flute on 2); Alberto Alberto Pino (vocals on 3, 8); Pablosky Rosales (tres on 4); Alexander Brown (trumpet on 5); Hilario Durán (acoustic piano on 6); Amhed Mitchel (timbales/drum on 7); Bill King (Hammond B3 on 8)

Producers Larry Cramer and Jorge Luis Torres 'Papiosco' (Executive Producers); Roberto Riverón Mederos (Musical Producer)
Bill Tilford - Monday, 06 January 2014, 03:39 PM