by Hector Aviles, Latino Music Cafe

Multi-Grammy winning pianist and bandleader Oscar Hernandez returns with the second recording of his Alma Libre Latin Jazz sextet titled “Love the Moment”.

Alma Libre’s Latin Jazz Matures

I find that the cohesiveness amongst the members of a band is especially important in Jazz. In “Love the Moment” I can hear a more mature “Alma Libre” ensemble as compared with what I heard in their debut album “The Art of Latin Jazz”.

This maturity is hard to describe. Hey, maybe it’s just me! But to me, the interaction or musical conversation amongst the musicians in Alma Libre seems more fluid in this album. Most of them had been playing together for 5 years before “The Art of Latin Jazz” was recorded. But you also have to consider that Oscar Hernandez has had a chance to know his musicians even better. This has allowed him to compose the songs knowing how he can best integrate his band members.

As in the previous album, Oscar wrote all 10 songs for “Love the Moment”. That, and the addition of Oskar Cartaya on bass, a proven Jazz maestro, gives Alma Libre the cherry on top regarding musical talent.

In the promo video I include below, Oscar talks about “Love the Moment” and of his band members.

I Love “Love the Moment”

I really enjoyed “Love of the Moment” for the variety of music that Oscar Hernandez brings to the recording. Oscar knows the importance of a balance mix of songs, and here he brings us everything from spiced Latin Jazz, to a melodic Danzon, and even includes a smooth Bolero.

The Danzon this time is a song dedicated to his daughter, following his tradition of dedicating danzones to members of his family. That’s a pretty nice gift, if you ask me. “Danzon for Lisa”features guest violinist Dayren Santamaria.

“Love the Moment” is a enjoyable album to listen and brings us the best of Oscar Hernandez and his Alma Libre Latin Jazz sextet. Here’s one of my favorite songs of the album, “Latino Jazz”.

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