CD reviews by William Harvey
After Winter, Spring is drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez’s second album as a leader. This album features many of Martinez’s own originals and arrangements. His band La Familia Sextet is tight and hard grooving as they venture through various latin jazz styles. On this recording Martinez lets his band shine as he plays mostly a supporting role in the rhythm section; a sign of a mature veteran who as a leader choses to place emphasis on melody and groove.
In addition to his strong instrumental chops Martinez is featured as a vocalist singing in both English and Spanish. Musical influences heard range from Ray Baretto, Max Roach, Ray Romero, Cachao, to Hilton Ruìz as mentioned in the liner notes of After Winter, Spring. Additionally, pianist Misha Tsiganov wrote “Anthony” as a dedication to the late Tony Williams , which ends with a nice drum solo. After Winter, Spring has and will continue to captivate Latin jazz and Afro-Carribean music fans alike.