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Steinway artist Esteban Alvarez, releases his album Tico Groove (which features guest musicians Ignacio Berroa (Dizzy Gillespie’s drummer) and Lynn Seaton (Count Basie’s bassist)). Esteban has studied under many jazz greats including the likes of Chris Potter, Dave Brubeck, John Abercrombie and Jonathan Kreisberg, and in 2013 Esteban was also made a Steinway artist, whose roster includes the likes of Duke Ellington...
Tico Groove seamlessly blends elements of traditional and Latin jazz, whilst also incorporating Costa Rican folk and world rhythms and phrasings, meeting in a place that sits somewhere between an almost nostalgic hark back to Esteban’s hometown, whilst also taking influence from its guest musicians who put their own distinctive mark on the album.
The LP contains 10 songs (57 min, 36 sec) and the chances are you'll recognise bits here and there. This is an album that works best played in the order presented, if you take away individual tracks it loses some of its magic. But if I had to chose highlights I'd have to mention the infectious 'Caballito Nicoyano/Ticas Lindas'; and 'Caña Dulce'.
A timeless, upbeat LP that showcase Alvarez's skills on the piano this is an essential listen for a lazy weekend.