by Jonathan Blackman

Pianist Michael Eckroth is not foreign to success.  He’s worked with artists such as John Scofield, Ron McClure, Paul McCandless, and Eliot Zigmund. He’s equally adept at all styles of Latin music, having been a part of the Grammy-nominated Cuban project Orquestra Akokan, and he has served as a collaborator and musical director in numerous capacities.  Furthermore, he has released many albums under his name and has just finished up another gem for us to enjoy.

The newest release by Mike Eckroth on Truth Revolution Recording Collective, entitled Plena, explodes to life from the opening track entitled “And so it goes.”  The electrifying Plena is filled with amazing virtuosic solos from Eckroth and his cast, coupled with a rhythmic intensity led by Alex ‘Apolo” Aayal on bass, Joel Mata on drums, and Maurice- Herrera on congas that keeps the music sizzling from start to finish!  “Summer of Love and Discontent” is a 6/8 Afro-Cuban filled with a variety of tonal colors and the trio configuration sees all members of the band shine with exquisite individual and collective artistry.  The tonal scheme of the tune reflects the reminiscent nature of the title as well.

To read the full review click here