Bobby Medina, Between Worlds (Medina)
The trumpeter’s album includes much of the repertoire that he and his band played at the recent Ystad Sweden Jazz Festival—with dramatic differences. Orchestras with string sections at sessions in Buenos Aires and Seattle provide soaring accompaniments in arrangements by Medina, pianist Eric Verlinde, saxophonist-flutist Guto Lucena and Lucena’s fellow Brazilian Felipe Salles. To great effect, Salles’ setting of Tony Lujan’s “Forever My Love” alternates dreaminess and zest. Lucena’s arrangements of pieces by Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astor Piazolla capture the composers’ spirits. Medina does the Mexican standard “La Bikina” as a waltz that allows him to double on flugelhorn and accordion.
Soloists include musicians from North and South America. On Piazolla’s “Libertango,” Seattleite Verlinde shines in a piano solo that sets up a dashing chase sequence with Medina and guest trumpeter Gustavo Bergalli from Argentina. Lucena demonstrates the power on flute and soprano saxophone that also informed his playing at Ystad. As the principal soloist, Medina is impressive not only for his command of the trumpet and flugelhorn, but also for the blues feeling often at the heart of his solos whether he’s improvising on traditional Latin music or an attractive hybrid like his “Tullum.”