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Guitarist Jaime Valle brought the all-star Colors of Latin Jazz to Dizzy's on Sept. 20, for an exciting evening celebrating the wide arc of the art form -- and featuring lithe vocalist Coral MacFarland-Thuet, virtuoso pianist Allan Phillips, with the rock-solid rhythm section of bassist Tony Banda and drummer Ramon Banda.

Phillips led off "Moliendo Cafe," with a wicked montuno, heated to a boil by R. Banda's hi-hat and rimshot combination, over which Thuet applied flawless pitch and drum-like phrasing. The pianist attacked the keyboard like a Latin Oscar Peterson and Valle responded with an alacritous, effects-laden soliloquy.

Resonant octaves, bluesy asides and lightning scales characterized Valle's approach to "Dona Maria," layered over the heavy backbeat of the Banda brothers, while Phillips chose a potent dose of block chords and melodic effusion.

Thuet returned to soar in Portuguese over the Brazilian standard, "Agua de Beber," driven by the drummer's martial cadences, and she continued with a lyrical showcase with Valle and Phillips on "Como Fue."

Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue," began with a long vamp and progressed into a fusion-esque Valle display while R. Banda's relentless cowbell led into an inspiring drum solo that stole the show.

Fantastic stuff.

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