Martinez’s voice is a glorious instrument. It’s soothing and soulful and you never have to strain to hear it; it’s always out front and on top. One special moment found Martinez singing over the female vocalists’ backgrounds.
When Mr. Martinez opened his mouth to sing — in the invocations for each part of the suite, and in the musical discussions that followed with chorus singers and the orchestra — no context was needed to understand the power of his voice slicing through a mass of sound, his phrasing intricately weaving through the rhythmic accents.
Commentary by Kitty Montgomery
The rebook of the Pedrito Martinez Quartet for Hot Latin Nights II was a first for any group in Mel’s Belleayre Jazz Series; they were that steamin’ in their debut show here last season . Since then, the band’s career has rocketed, driven by their relentless Cuba hand drum phenom, not to mention the rest of the group – Ariacne Trujillo, keys; Alvaro Benevides, bass; Jhair Sala bongos, cowbells. Everybody joins in vocals. Their quartet played Dizzy’s Coca Cola Club on New Years Eve, last winter, sending 2014 off in a fusion that carried like a comet ride. They’re still out in orbit.
View Pedrito in the Downbeat issue at the following link: http://pedritomartinezmusic.com/site/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/DB1407.pdf
I have to admit, I have a little bit of a bias against anything billed as “the next big thing”. Whenever I start hearing a lot about a new artist on the scene, I tend to think of it as a sort of group think phenomenon – “OK, everybody, let’s get on the bandwagon so we appear hip and in the know.”