Birds of a Feather (Concord Picante)

Caribbean Jazz Project

Released August 26, 2003

Grammy Nominee for Best Latin Jazz Album 2004




Celebrating the tenth anniversary of its formation from a special concert at New York City’s Central Park Zoo a decade ago, the Caribbean Jazz Project is one of those fusion of genres that makes the listener no longer question or speculate if certain styles were combined. Fronted by founding member and former Spyro Gyra “charter member” Dave Samuels, who lends most of the lighter melodic touches courtesy of the vibraphones and marimbas, the group’s follow-up to last year’s Grammy winning The Gathering is another step in a good direction.

Track Listing:

1. Birds of a Feather (Dave Samuels) 5:04

2. On the Road (Dario Eskenazi) 5:29

3. Turnabout (Dave Samuels) 8:29

4. Against the Law 6:06

5. Tell Me a Bedtime Story (Herbie Hancock) 6:03

6. Valencia 1 (Romero Lubambo) 7:38

7. Picture Frame (Dave Samuels) 6:02

8. Blue (Dave Samuels) 5:59

9. Weird Nightmare (Charles Mingus) 5:51

10. Minor Mood (Dave Samuels) 5:03


Dave Samuels: vibes & marimba

Dario Eskenazi: piano

Dafnis Prieto: drums & timbales

Roberto Quintero: congas & percussion

Ruben Rodriguez: bass

Ray Veja: trumpet & flugelhorn

Special Guests

Randy Brecker: trumpet

Romero Lubambo: guitar

Mark Walker: drums

Café: percussion

Recorded March 29 – 30 & May 12, 2003 at Bennett Studios Englewood, New Jersey

Produced by Dave Samuels

Executive Producers: Glen Barros & John Burk

Recorded, Mixed and Mastered by Phil Magnotti


A brassier, busier and a wee bit more aggressively urban Caribbean Jazz Project is featured on Birds of a Feather (Concord Picante). Dave Samuels is now leading this new lineup with Ray Vega on trumpet, Dario Eskenazi on piano and special guests guitarist Romero Lubambo, trumpeter Randy Brecker, drummer Mark Walker and percussionist Cafe. Bassist Ruben Rodriguez, percussionist Robert Quintero and drummer Dafnis Prieto round out the gang. The Brazilian “Valencia 1,” with flutelike melodic harmonization, Lubambo’s rapid note firings and a jazzy and percussively correct trumpet solo, is just a sampling of what the tropical-inflected crew can do in that territory. They are just as meritorious in their other Carioca explorations on “Turnabout” and “Picture Frame.” Headed by a custom-made danzon figure, “Weird Nightmare” romps into an oddly metered sizzle, while on “Blue” everyone shines through in an updated guaguanco that fades into a hypermodern percussive coda skin slapping passage. The writing must be commended through and through. It brings forth fresh vistas from familiar Latin outcroppings and the supergroup readily assimilates its superior level. This is a cooker of a release, with depth to boot, fortified by great melodicism and peerless changes.

Javier Quinones (JazzTimes)