Guitarist Chris Cortez and trumpeter Larry Williams may be new to you, but their musical collaboration goes back to the eighties. Chris is the owner of the Blue Bamboo Center for the Arts and hasn’t released his own music since 2014. Through his work with Larry in the past, they had a huge impact on the jazz scene in Orlando, Florida.
Together they presided over several groups containing available players. And although they lost sight of each other over the years, they remained focused on music. Chris formed his record label Blue Bamboo Music, and Larry became a session player in LA. The latter announced his retirement from trumpet playing in 2012, and shifted to guitar. But when his wife died in 2020, he returned to Orlando. A dream led him to a music shop, where he bought the flugel horn he dreamed of. One thing led to another, and together with a sextet, here is their new collaboration.
The title track opens into a lush Latin atmosphere, while the relaxed ‘Melody Makes It Happen’ follows. On ‘Glorious’, Cortez’ guitar comes to the forefront, and on ‘Un Pedazo De Tu Sonrisa’ the sun shines in a slightly Brazilian atmosphere. ‘Ask Me No Questions’ is a joyful track, followed by the light breezy ‘Silhouette’.
Then we’re off to Latin America again with ‘Topaz’, while ‘Polka Dot Handkerchief’ brings a moment of calmness. ‘DJ’ is a short intermezzo, and ‘Territorial Imperative’ has the motto “it doesn’t mean a thing, if it ain’t got that swing”. ‘Building On A Dream’ is the closing track, with a smooth jazz atmosphere.
For me, this a rather nice introduction to this two musicians. So brothers and sisters, try some ‘Hermanos’!