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Energetic music attracts a packed house at Rimbombante CD release show

Rimbombante's CD release concert stage on April 5 was as packed as the coffee house was from listeners. L-R: Reynier Garcia, Dean Pallen, Arien Villegas, Evandro Garcelli, Carlos Santana. Hidden: Gerg Horvath (bass). ©Brett Delmage, 2013View photos from the CD release

It isn't often that a CD release concert gets an overture as well.

When Rimbombante's show on April 5 was delayed because of a musician's car breaking down, the group's pianist, Carlos Santana, sat down and played half an hour of sparkling solo piano – impromptu. And that didn't make him any less energetic when the whole band was playing.

The Ottawa-based group – Santana, composer Dean Pallen on saxophone and clarinet, Evandro Gracelli on guitar, Gerg Horvath on bass, Reynier Garcia on congas and percussion, Arien Villegas on drums – represent a wide range of ethnic and musical origins, and their music reflects that as well. It's an amalgam of jazz and world music with a noticeable Latin flavour, a strong percussive base, and memorable melodies.

And lots of energy! Whether in a fast, breezy soprano sax line, a flowing guitar solo, rippling keyboards, dancing conga beats, driving bass, fast Cuban drum rhythms, or vibrant vocals, the music worked at the April 5 show because of the strong interaction among the musicians and the vigour each of them added. The audience greeted that energy with strong applause, particularly at the end, and demanded an encore.

The group was celebrating the release of its new CD, Maria has Lost Her Soul, which consists of originals composed by Pallen. The setlist was drawn from that album or from so-far-unreleased material recorded at the same time.

The show attracted a packed house to the less-usual venue of the TAN Roasters coffeehouse in Sandy Hill. Pallen said he picked the location because he was very proud to reside in the Sandy Hill neighbourhood and it was a great place to live.

The date allowed Gracelli, who is from Brazil but who was a member of the band while he lived in Canada for two years, to take part in the CD launch. Pallen said Gracelli had played on the new album, and brought a subtle sound and “big ears” to the group while he was part of it.

Rimbombante will drop down to a quartet without Gracelli, Pallen said. The group will eventually look for a new guitar player.

    – Alayne McGregor

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Photos from the CD release at TAN Roasters Coffee
All photos ©Brett Delmage, 2013
Click any thumbnail to view a larger image.