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Wayne Wallace has accomplished more than most musicians do in a lifetime. He has done so not merely because as a musician he is ubiquitous but he has his own label through which he gives deserving musicians in the Latin Jazz idiom a break.
He also is practically through his Salsa de la Bahia projects keeping the flame of that idiom alive, with a handful of musicians, on the West Coast at least. Notwithstanding all of the above, Wayne Wallace is simply one of the most gifted trombonists playing today and that too, in any musical idiom.
And he uses all of these eclectic gifts almost unobtrusively except when he makes a record that ends up receiving not enough accolades it deserves. Intercambio is one of those records.
Intercambio is a 2016 Grammy Nominated Recording
Best Latin Jazz Album category
The songs on this album can rightly hold their own as some of the great accounts of melody. With smart and elegant harmonising and inexpressibly spot on polyrhythms each song—whether an original or a reinvented one by another jazz great—is a masterpiece in its own right.
When something like this happens on an album, they pass like all-too-fast comets across a glittering sky dotted by other Wayne Wallace performances.
Still “Como Vai” can hold its own with “Solar” as do the other songs on the record and you can hit the replay button on your CD player as often as you want to. You will not tire of those or any of the other charts on this disc.
That the Wayne Wallace Quintet is also one of those groups of musicians that seemingly can do no wrong is also a fact to reckon with.
This series of ten songs contained on this disc are both as technically sublime and unselfconsciously musical.
Moreover the pieces are brimming with passion and Mr. Wallace’s performances are magnificent so much so that everything might pale in comparison. But that, happily, will not happen.
The quintet also comprises four other fine musicians in the persons of David Belove, Colin Douglas, Murray Low and Michael Spiro, and a host of other musicians whose cameo appearances are sprinkled like so much magic tinsel-dust throughout the record.