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Great Latin Jazz Albums from 2012

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Without a doubt, 2012 was an exciting year for the Latin Jazz world, bringing a wealth of new music to our ears at an astounding rate. We got new big band masterpieces from folks like Bobby Sanabria and Papo Vazquez, amazing tributes to Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins, and The Beatles, not to mention some heavy hitting Afro-Cuban Jazz from Manuel Valera, Yosvany Terry, Poncho Sanchez, and more. That’s just the beginning though – there was some fantastic new Brazilian Jazz from Duduka Da Fonseca, Afro-Peruvian Jazz from folks like Gabriel Alegria, Sofia Tosello, and Yuri Juarez, as well as some unforgettable vocal performances from Kat Parra, Tania Maria, and more. Let’s not forget about the newcomers – musicians like Ed Byrne, Anne Sajdera, and Alfredo Rodriguez gave us hope that Latin Jazz has a bright future. The Pacific Mambo Orchestra and Rick Davies must us dance, while Dafnis Prieto, Elio Villafranco, Arturo Stable, and others made us reconsider what constitutes the musical style that we know as Latin Jazz. When we look back on the year, there’s a huge amount of music worth hearing that captures every interest and artistic direction imaginable.

With so much great music passing by us, it’s easy to miss some of the memorable albums that hit us during 2012; that would be a pity though – there was just so much good stuff. In the hopes of helping everyone find their way towards some great Latin Jazz from 2012, I’ve compiled a list of the some of the year’s highlights. There’s probably some things on here that you’ve heard, and there’s likely some things that you’ve missed. Take the opportunity to catch up on an album that you haven’t heard or revisit one that you haven’t checked out in a while. If there’s something missing here, let me know in the comments – I’m always on the look out for great music! Just make sure you don’t miss this great music – there’s a lot of good stuff behind us and more coming in 2013! Happy New Year!

Big Band Latin Jazz

Multiverse – Bobby Sanabria Big Band


Oasis – Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours


For the Moment – Bob Mintzer Big Band

Hard Hitting Afro-Cuban Jazz

Live In Hollywood – Poncho Sanchez And His Latin Jazz Band


New Cuban Express – Manuel Valera


Today’s Opinion – Yosvany Terry


Afro Blue Monk – Chembo Corniel Quintet


Casa Versailles – Tumbao Bravo


On the Way – Negroni’s Trio


The Vibesman – Mike Freeman ZonaVibe


Oye! – Johnny Conga

Great Latin Jazz Vocals

Belezas – Carol Saboya

Las Aventuras de Pasión! – Kat Parra


Canto – Tania Maria


Volando – Anna Estrada

Afro-Peruvian Jazz

Afro-Peruvian Jazz Secrets (El Secreto del Jazz Afroperuano) – Gabriel Alegria Afro-Pervuain Sextet


Tangolandó – Tangolandó, Sofia Tosello & Yuri Juárez


Beatles Afro Peruvian Jazz Tribute – Richie Zellon

Brazilian Jazz

Samba Jazz – Jazz Samba – Duduka Da Fonseca Quintet


Constelação – Brazilian Trio

Salsa Jazz

Pacific Mambo Orchestra – Pacific Mambo Orchestra


Salsa Norteña – Rick Davies

Next Generation Latin Jazz

Conquistador – Ed Byrne’s Latin Jazz Evolution


Sounds of Space – Alfredo Rodriguez


Azul – Anne Sajdera

Latin Jazz That Made Us Think Differently

Dos y Mas – Elio Villafranca & Arturo Stable


Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio – Dafnis Prieto, Kokayi & Jason Lindner


Dia Y Medio/A Day and a Half – Paquito D’Rivera & Berta Rojas


Lady of the Island – Andrea Brachfeld


The Noguchi Sessions – Arturo O’Farrill


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This story appears courtesy of The Latin Jazz Corner by Chip Boaz.
Copyright © 2014. All rights reserved.
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