Cuban Fantasy is a new album from the Witmer Trio on the Sound Liaison label. It follows up their earlier album Free: Soulful Piano Reflections which offers mellow and jazzy takes in a full album worth of Soul classics from the ‘70s and ‘80s.
This album marks a return to the origins of Witmer Trio. Delving into the salsa, cha-cha, bolero, bachata, and cumbia traditions of the music of Latin America. The Trio is joined by special guest Jan-Luc van Eendenburg on congas and bongos, completing the album’s Latin flavor.
Co-Producer Peter Bjørnild says “I have had the privilege of witnessing the Trio’s development since its inception. This album not only pays homage to their origins but also showcases the Trio’s collective life experience, enhancing the artists’ individual craftsmanship. In Cajan Witmer’s cantabile interpretation, the melody emerges stronger and more mature than ever. One can clearly see these qualities are also true for bass player Han Slinger and drummer Maarten Kruijswijk. After more than 25 years of close collaboration, their rhythmic foundation has become even more robust, creating a superb basis for Witmer’s refined melodic improvisations. I deeply admire Cajan Witmer’s arrangements, as they breathe new life into classics while maintaining a clear respect for the original compositions.
Listeners will sense Witmer’s appreciation for the original pieces, as the music remains genuine and undistorted. In this new album, Witmer Trio skillfully weaves together the past and present in a most satisfying manner.”
Cajan Witmer – Piano
Han Slinger – Double Bass
Maarten Kruijswijk – Drums
Jan-Luc van Eendenburg – Percussion
TracklistPlease note that the below previews are loaded as 44.1 kHz / 16 bit.
Total time: 00:56:52
|Analog to Digital Converter|
Horus, Merging Technologies at DXD (352.8 kHz)
AudioQuest Microphone and Power Cables
Frans de Rond
Horus, Merging Technologies
Cajan – Josephson C700S Jan-Luc van Eendenburg – Josephson C700S Han – Josephson C700A, Neumann M149 Maarten – Josephson C700S
HiFiMan HE1000 & Sennheiser HD800S
TAD Compact Evolution
|Original Recording Format|
Peter Bjørnild and Cajan Witmer
Frans de Rond
Recorded at MCO, Studio 2, Hilversum, The Netherlands, on December 20, 2021
|Release Date||May 12, 2023|
The music is engagingly and creatively arranged, and all is superbly well performed. The addition of Jan-Luc van Eendenburg’s congas and bongos add a delightful further flavoring and are tastefully blended into the overall musical ethos of the ensemble. There is a somewhat mellow, reflective tone to the entire album, which makes for very relaxed and enjoyable listening. With considerable variety across the selections I found myself constantly engaged in the melodies, rhythms and interplay of the artists. The songs with a driving beat and greater urgency, like La Mulata Rumbera, added just enough spice to keep everything interesting while not being completely out of place. All of this is just very nicely done!
The recorded sound quality is excellent, as always from Frans de Rond. Yes, this is multi-mic’d. But it is so skillfully done that you’d not notice it. Instead, what you have is a fully integrated soundscape encompassing four musicians and their instruments—nothing spot lit, nothing sounding “out of whack.” And this result my friends, reflects very skillful placement to manage the various phase characteristics so all sounds seamless as one. Quite an accomplishment!
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