Santi Debriano and Panamaniacs: Tio





Panamaniacs/Santi Debriano Group (Evidence 22195)

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Santi Debriano (bass), David Sánchez (tenor sax), David Kikoski (piano), Tommy Campbell (drums).

Composed by Santi Wilson Debriano


Recorded: Englewood, NJ, April 13-14, 1993


Rating: 96/100 (learn more)

A much in-demand bassist and jazz educator, Debriano's resume extends from stints with Archie Shepp, Sam Rivers, and Pharoah Sanders, to engagements with pianists Kenny Barron, Hank Jones, and Randy Weston. The son of Panamanian composer Alonso Wilson Debriano, Santi was raised in the U.S. but retains an interest in all forms of Latin jazz, as reflected by the group he led in the ‘90s, Panamaniacs. With David Sanchez, from Puerto Rico, the bassist had the perfect foil—a saxophonist equally plugged into Afro-Cuban rhythms and more, and who was on the verge of recording his debut album for Columbia. The versatile young pianist Kikoski (and you had to be versatile to hold down the piano chair in Roy Haynes' group, as he was also doing at the time) revealed his impressive Latin jazz chops while playing with Panamaniacs.

The jazz samba "Tio" is dedicated to the Panamanian trumpeter Victor Paz. Debriano's resonant, warm sound is noticed immediately in his bass lines supporting Sanchez's playing of the ingratiating, sinuous theme, with a corresponding meaty and appealing tenor tone. Kikoski's choice chords back Sanchez flawlessly, and the pianist takes the first solo, a darting light-touched exploration of the samba's interior structure. As Kikoski plays swift, sparkling runs and emphatic two-handed unison chords, Debriano and Campbell engage him fully. Sanchez's solo is soaring hard bop, assured and rhythmically agile. Fresh from three years with Dizzy Gillespie's United Nations Orchestra, Sanchez shows here what would await listeners for years to come.

Reviewer: Scott Albin

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