Blood Spirit Land Water Freedom
Curtis Brothers Quartet - Blood, Spirit, Land, Water, Freedom Family, heritage, tradition, exploration and innovation - these are the hallmarks of the Curtis Brothers, the men and their music. Zaccai and Luques Curtis are among finest of the latest crop of young musicians making their mark in New York City, the United States and around the world. They are 21st Century artists grounded in the artistic values of the 20th Century, the time when they first began their extensive musical studies and steadfast commitment to the advancement of the art form which they had been surrounded by since their birth into a household rich in the sounds of music, both jazz and Latin. Growing up in the Connecticut city Hartford, the two brothers benefited greatly from youth studies at The Artist Collective, the interdisciplinary arts and cultural institution focusing on contributions of the African Diaspora, founded by the late Jackie McLean with his wife Dollie. Like many of the future jazz stars of their generation they migrated to Boston for university studies, pianist Zaccai at the New England Conservatory, bassist Luques at Berklee. With degrees in hand they headed south to the jazz capital of the world - New York City -- where they've headquartered their music making activities ever since. The brothers have already amassed an impressive amount of experience, beginning with their stint as rhythm section mates with drummer Ralph Peterson's unit in Boston. Luques first came to wide attention as a member of Gary Burton's Next Generation Quintet, then in a trio featuring the vibraphonist with guitarist Pat Metheny and later with the great Eddie Palmieri's band. Zaccai initially distinguished himself nationally as a winner of the ASCAP Young Jazz Composer's competition each year from 2003 through 2006. In 2007, he was awarded the Connecticut Commission on Culture's Artist Fellowship for original composition. The two also have been heard with Jerry Gonzalez and the Fort Apache Band, Jimmy Greene, Donald Harrrison, Sean Jones, Christian Scott and Papo Vazquez' Pirates and Troubadours, among others, but it as co-leaders of their own groups that the true individualism of their musical vision is most evident. The Curtis Brothers' previous project, A Genesis, by their group Insight, introduced Zaccai's compelling compositions and arrangements for Latin Jazz septet to the world. In 2006 the group's rhythm section traveled to Bangladesh, Calcutta, Bangalore, Mumbai, Sri Lanka and Maldives, as part of the American Music Abroad (Jazz Ambassadors) program administered by Jazz at Lincoln Center in conjunction with the U.S. State Department, solidifying the cohesive bond the foursome had been developing through years of playing together and laying the groundwork for this date. Blood, Spirit, Land, Water, Freedom is a stunning example of the inspired interaction of that unified unit, which also features the exciting percussion pairing of drummer Riche Barshay and conguero Reinaldo De Jesus. The music here goes well beyond the generic description of Latin Jazz. It is an organic sound that naturally blends the many traditions and genres that these young artists have studied and mastered, from jazz, classical and AfroCaribbean to fusion, contemporary popular and world music - a sound where Chopin and Noro Morales meet and mix with Bud Powell and Herbie Hancock. It's the sound of the past, present and future, one that speaks to and for a unified planet where music is the universal language and peaceful coexistence is the common purpose. It's the new sound of the Curtis Brothers. Listen. Russ Musto AllAboutJazz-New York.