Ed Fast & Conga Bop | Do or Die

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Jazz: Afro-Cuban Jazz World: Caribbean Moods: Type: Improvisational
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Do or Die

by Ed Fast & Conga Bop

Afro-Cuban influenced rhythms and hard-bop harmony are fused to create unique, soulful originals and creatively arranged jazz standards .
Genre: Jazz: Afro-Cuban Jazz
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Do or Die (feat. Larry Coryell & Steve Davis)
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
6:51 $0.99
2. Abu's Dance
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
7:39 $0.99
3. The Jody Grind
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
4:39 $0.99
4. Lamento de Hodi
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
4:06 $0.99
5. Do Nothing 'Til You Hear from Me (feat. Linda Ransom)
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
3:56 $0.99
6. Nature Boy (feat. Linda Ransom & Steve Davis)
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
6:06 $0.99
7. Detour Ahead (feat. Linda Ransom & Steve Davis)
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
4:34 $0.99
8. Our Love Is Here to Stay (feat. Linda Ransom & Steve Davis)
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
4:55 $0.99
9. Willow Weep for Me (feat. Linda Ransom)
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
5:10 $0.99
10. Insight
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
4:44 $0.99
11. Stealin' the Deal
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
6:14 $0.99
12. Swithchback (feat. Larry Coryell)
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
4:32 $0.99
13. Quest (feat. Steve Davis)
Ed Fast & Conga Bop
7:11 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The album " Do or Die" is an extension of the concepts developed on Conga Bop's first release "Straight Shot" . Top tier performers including Steve Davis on trombone, the Curtis brothers on piano and bass, and legendary guitar icon Larry Coryell are featured. Sophisticated jazz harmony is combined with hard hitting Afro-Cuban rhythms. Outstanding performances are delivered by a cadre of additional, long standing collaborators on soulful originals and uniquely arranged jazz standards. Vocalist Linda Ransom breathes exciting new energy and vitality into each of her renditions.
Below is an in depth review Conga Bop's first Cd by Chip Boaz of "The Latin Jazz Corner". It provides a detailed perspective of the Conga Bop approach and style.

Straight Shot
Ed Fast And Conga-Bop
drummer Ed Fast and his group Conga-Bop delvers some outstanding straight-ahead Latin Jazz on Straight Shot, mixing original compositions and standards into a memorable performance.

Strong Originals That Fuse Hard Bop And Afro-Cuban Rhythms
Fast leads his group through a number of uptempo originals, fusing bluesy hard bop with Afro-Cuban rhythms. The rhythm section establishes a driving rumba guaguanco beneath thick chordal patches from the wind players on “Encarnación,” leading into a menacing minor melody that sets a serious tone. Pianist Zaccai Curtis sends the rhythm section into high gear with a powerful montuno, inspiring saxophonist Chris Herbert into an energetic series of racing improvised lines. Curtis enthusiastically charges into an intelligent statement that plays off the rhythm section before laying down a montuno for an explosive solo from conguero Jorge Fuentes. Bassist Luques Curtis provides a slyly funky bass line before the complete rhythm section jumps into a medium tempo cha cha cha on “Straight Shot,” setting the stage for a laid back blues melody. Trumpet player Joel Gonzalez attacks his improvisation with a combination of bop flavored lines and short staccato notes, while trombone player Steve Davis mixes rhythmic jabs with legato phrases. Guitarist Greg Skaff cleverly mimics Davis and builds upon that initial idea with a blazing display of hard bop virtuosity, creating a masterful statement. Luques Curtis introduces “Once Upon a Time” with a lyrical bass figure over an uptempo son montuno that becomes the basis for an uplifting melody. Herbert moves onto flute for an engaging solo that grows through smart thematic development which transitions into a busy improvisation from Skaff that winds nimbly through the chord changes. After a return to the main melody, bongocero Esteban Arrufatt takes a quick improvisatory flourish, leading into an attention grabbing statement from Fast on timbales, who displays a knowledge of authentic phrasing and technique. The wind players ride through a melody full of short edgy phrases on “Ring Side” that comes alive through sharp chordal stabs from the rhythm section. A bluesy pick-up from Gonzalez leads into a soulful improvisation, followed by a series of interconnected ideas from trombonist James Burton. Zaccai Curtis slides through a quick improvisation with a modern edge, leading into an interesting moña and a blazing solo from Skaff. These pieces strongly display Fast’s composition skills, that show defined personality while paying respects to Afro-Cuban and bop traditions.

Clever Arrangements Of Classic Jazz Tunes
Fast includes arrangements of classic jazz tunes into his repertoire, presenting them with clever arrangements. The rhythm section establishes an assertive 6/8 rhythm with a bluesy swing on Lee Morgan’s “Boy What A Night,” framing the melody with a soulful edge. The rhythm section builds into a scorching heat behind Gonzalez as the trumpet player bounces his improvisation around the rhythmic basis. Davis follows with an impassioned fire, inspiring response from the rhythm section, while Zaccai Curtis tears through a blues fueled statement. The wind players provide gentle rhythmic hits over a bolero on Bill Evans’ “Detour Ahead” while Fast reflectively interprets the melody on vibes. Davis dances through a tender improvisation full of vitality that touches on both the sentimental and lively aspects of the song. The glistening sound of Fast’s vibes sparkle through a brief, but beautifully crafted statement, gracefully leading back into the main melody. These pieces connect Fast and his group with jazz history and finds them working creatively to place that history into an Afro-Cuban context.

Original Compositions From Fast’s Collaborators
Two of Fast’s collaborators contribute original compositions to the group, adding some variety and flair to the set. Zaccai Curtis lays down a catchy montuno with a bluesy dissonance behind a relaxed floating melody from the wind players on Davis’ “Blue Domain.” Herbert tears into his improvisation with an energetic zeal, followed by a thoughtfully soulful statement from Zaccai Curtis, and an engagingly understated solo from Gonzalez. Skaff jumps into a tasteful solo filled with bluesy licks, until Davis builds some momentum with an energetic solo, and Luques Curtis displays a strong percussive approach to melodic development. Legendary Latin Jazz musician Bill Fitch establishes a somberly serious tone on piano on his composition “Cuban Lament,” placing a classically elegant melody over a slow Afro rhythm. Fitch plays upon the melody with bluesy embellishments, playing with an insightfully understated touch that complements the entire setting. Fitch echoes the percussion with a vamp that serves as a foundation for a beautifully structured improvisation from Luques Curtis, leading back into an expressive return to the melody. The addition of more compositional voices add some variety to group’s repertoire, while reinforcing the overall sound of the ensemble.

A Distinct Artistic Identity Built Upon Historical Precedent
Fast and Conga-Bop present a lively set of straight-ahead Latin Jazz on Straight Shot, creating an appealing musical mixture that glistens with jazz class and Afro-Cuban flair. Fast emerges as a compelling band leader throughout the album, delivering memorable compositions, authentic performances, and a defined concept. As a writer, Fast comes from the hard bop school of bluesy melodies, rich chord structures, and marked rhythm section accompaniment. He cleverly combines this ideal with Afro-Cuban rhythms, placing everything clearly around the clave, creating a stylistic coherence that strengthens the music. Fast sits behind the drum kit with a keen eye on supporting the music, always keeping things aligned rhythmically, but never overstepping his role. This type of band leading sets the stage for some dedicated performances from his musicians, who feel the freedom to express themselves within the defined setting. Zaccai Curtis contributes some outstanding solos that leap out of the recording, overflowing with artistic identity. Skaff adds a skilled bop edge to the music with attention grabbing solos, and Luques Curtis consistently provides unwavering support throughout the album. The presence of Bill Fitch links the group to the greater Latin Jazz legacy, bringing his taste and experience into the mix. Fast and Conga-Bop take the best pieces of a straight-ahead Latin Jazz approach and blend them into an enjoyable musical collection on Straight Shot, leaving us with a clear picture of a group with a distinct artistic identity built upon a strong knowledge of historical precedent.



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