Janine Santana: Red Clay


Red Clay


Janine Santana (percussion)


Soft As Granite (Janine Santana (no catalog number; self-released))

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Janine Santana (percussion), Richie Cole (alto sax), Greg Gisbert (trumpet),

Brad Goode (trumpet), Jeff Jenkins (piano), KImet Stone (bass), Paul Romaine (drums), Papi Ray Pacheco (percussion), Jose Madera (percussion)


Composed by Freddie Hubbard. Arranged by Janine Santana


Recorded: Denver, 2008


Rating: 90/100 (learn more)

I'm not a big fan of Latin remakes of jazz standards, but in the case of "Red Clay", which seems forever locked into its original arrangement, changes and adaptations are more than welcome. Denver percussionist Janine Santana's arrangement of the Freddie Hubbard classic effectively straddles the line between Latin and funk, splitting up the melody between short Latin grooves.The horns get the major melodic lines up front, but later, the rhythm section plays the ascending line from the B section. The rhythm's part is so well-written that the passage is well underway before the listener grasps what is happening. Trumpeter Greg Gisbert and alto saxophonist Richie Cole share the solo spotlight with Santana. Gisbert's solo is filled with unusually-shaped ideas and spectacular passages in the high register. While it sounds like he's playing into an echoplex, the sound and late echoes are all acoustic. Cole's solo, while exciting and well-played, is considerably more restrained than his wild playing from the late 70s. Santana's brief spot offers effective counter-rhythms over the churning rhythm team. Overall, a fine alternative approach to a jazz chestnut.

Reviewer: Thomas Cunniffe

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