Album Review of

Written by Joe Ross
March 21, 2021 - 11:09pm EDT
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Born in Columbia, Juan Carlos Quintero came to the U.S. when he was just a baby and started playing guitar at age eight. Since 1986, he’s been based in Los Angeles where he’s produced, performed and recorded music while nurturing his signature sound of lilting, atmospheric melodies, blending contemporary jazz with native rhythms. Caminando is a re-release of his critically acclaimed 1997 album, The Way Home. All ten pieces were composed by Quintero and are presented with enchantingly stylish craftsmanship that emphasizes Latin roots. The music’s groove accentuates good tone, imagination and taste. There’s solid chemistry and cohesion with his ensemble members Joe Rotondi (piano), Eddie Resto and Alec Milstein (bass), and percussionists Munyungo Jackson, Walter Rodriguez, Tiki Pasillas, Angel Figueroa, and Ron Powell. The album opens with mood setters, a snappy “El Baile” and more leisurely “Caminando.” A very accessible “El Pueblo,” based on Columbia’s most popular cumbia dance, has a hot rhythm and airily syncopated melody. Other impressionistic tracks incorporate elements of Americana (“Hermanos”), romance (“The Way Home”), Caribbean rhythms (“Caribbean Sun Dance”), Latin jazz (“Little Indians”), Cuban (“Porque Si!”), and even “a nursery rhyme run amok” written by Quintero for his niece (“Spring”). Caminando has an eclectic variety of instrumental Latin rhythms and styles, making it a very pleasant tropical journey from start to finish. (Joe Ross, Roots Music Report)