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World Music CD Reviews Jazz

Conrad Herwig

By Michael Stone
Published September 28, 2007

Sketches Of Spain Y Mas: The Latin Side Of Miles Davis
Half Note

For 25 years, trombonist-bandleader Conrad Herwig’s played with the best: Red Garland, Buddy Rich, Clark Terry, Slide Hampton, Frank Sinatra, Toshiko Akiyoshi, Dave Liebman, Henry Threadgill, Mario Bauzá, Eddie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Tom Harrell, Joe Henderson, Joe Lovano, the Mingus Big Band, and the Carnegie Hall Jazz Band. Recorded live at the Blue Note, this is the second disc culled from three March 2003 evenings dedicated to Miles Davis’s work, backed by a who’s-who of New York Latin jazz: Paquito D’Rivera on alto sax and clarinet, trumpeter Brian Lynch, Dave Valentin on flute, baritone saxophonist Mario Rivera, pianist Edsel Gómez, bassist John Benítez, drummer Robby Ameen and Richie Flores on congas and percussion. They allow Herwig’s melodious modal groove (very much inspired by the great jazz vocalists) to come to the fore, but this is still an ensemble recording. The centerpiece, the 25-minute title track, illuminates its inspiration, with nary a derivative note.