Michel Camilo | Essence

Written by | New Releases Page

For his landmark 25th album as a leader Michel Camilo wanted to do something truly special. The Dominican-born pianist set out to celebrate in a big way: namely, by reconvening his all-star big band for the first time in a quarter-century to explore the full scope and breadth of his remarkable career.

“Essence marks my 25th album. This milestone recording is a celebration of the flowing dynamic creativity and interactive energy between my rhythm section and a top-notch horn section, as we explore together the challenging virtuoso passages and exciting unexpected turns in some of my most well-known compositions which are now here presented in a larger format. The exhilarating “ensemble tightness” captured on these superb performances have always been an important signature element of my musical stylings. Recording this special project was BIG FUN and I am really thrilled to share it with all of you!” said Michel Camilo


Essence, coming on the Resilience Music Alliance label, offers exactly that: the essence of Michel Camilo’s artistry spanning the last 40 years. The music, arranged in collaboration with trumpeter and long-time collaborator Michael Philip Mossman, is drawn from key points along Camilo’s storied trajectory. Most of the material has only been heard in trio settings in the past, while much of it hasn’t been revisited in the studio since the original recordings. All of it, however, vividly reflects the composer’s diverse influences, bringing together the various strands of his passion for jazz improvisation, Latin roots, and classical training.

Track Listing:
1. And Sammy Walked In | 2. Mongo’s Blues Intro | 3. Mongo’s Blues | 4. Liquid Crystal | 4. Mano a Mano | 5. Just Like You | 6. Yes | 7. Piece of Cake | 8. On Fire | 9. Repercussions | 10. Hello & Goodbye.

Alto Saxophone, Clarinet – Sharel Cassity | Alto Saxophone, Flute – Antonio Hart | Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet – Frank Basile | Bass – Ricky Rodriguez | Bass Trombone – David Taylor | Drums – Cliff Almond | Percussion, Vocals – Eliel Lazo | Piano – Michel Camilo | Tenor Saxophone, Clarinet – Adam Kolker | Tenor Saxophone, Flute – Ralph Bowen | Trombone – Jason Jackson, Michael Dease, Steve Davis | Trumpet, Flugelhorn – Diego Urcola, John Walsh, Kalí Rodríguez-Peña, Michael Philip Mossman, Raúl Agraz.

Release Date: June 7, 2019
Format: CD | Digital
Label: Resilience Music Alliance

Last modified: May 24, 2019