Aug 5, 2009
Deeply introspective and impressionistic, and yet willing to dance the night away when called upon, Mario Grigorov's latest CD, Paris to Cuba takes the listener on an imaginary trip from the City of Lights to the Caribbean. After the opening solo piano theme of "Ice Hotel" set the stage, "Cuban Soil, Cuban Sun" features sultry guitars and horns to let you know you're heading for some tropical heat. You're more than happy to tag along with this talented pianist and his collabroators.
Grigorov has worked with Brazilian master Oscar Castro-Neves before, so his sense of Latin music is filtered through that calmer sensibility, recalling the swaying sound of Rio rather than fire of Havana. Vocalist Melissa Newman's fine contributions to "I See" and "Every Little Movement" add to the sense of romance.
A big-beat version of "Ice Hotel" and the driven "Snake Eyes" let us know it's not all siesta time for Grigorov and his band, as Bob Dobrow's drums and Jeff Hill's bass lay the foundation for some dance tunes.
This is a CD for the late days of August, while enjoying a cold libation on the deck. In fact, I'm going to try that right now.