By: Dennis Cook
One of the amazing things about recorded music is how it bridges miles and years and cultural divides. An album laid down in Los Angeles in 1966, namely the Cannonball Adderley Quintet's landmark Mercy Mercy Mercy! Live At The Club, can plop into the lap of forward thinking jazzbos in Buenos Aires, Argentina and create a small local revolution. Quinteplus was a short lived jazz unit that grew out of Agrupación Nuevo Jazz, a loose organization in the late '60s that provided an open environment to experiment with Argentine folk genres in a jazz mode. Sparked by Cannonball and Nat Adderley and especially keyboardist Joe Zawinul, five members formed Quinteplus and cut one incredible album that quickly sunk into the shadows until this glorious reissue from the folks at Vampisoul.
Quinteplus, their self-titled debut came out in 1972 and has gone on to be one of the holy grails of soul-jazz hardcores. While the core sound owes a debt to Adderley's amazing '60s quintet, there's also burbling, African flavored percussion and a very Jamaican production sensibility that suggests Quinteplus is a jazz cousin to what Bob Marley and Miles Davis were cutting during the same period. This bops and grooves with relaxed confidence. Santiago Giavobble anchors everything with one of the first Fender electric pianos to make it to Argentina. His fingers dance with the shock of the new, and that sizzling enzyme touches his compatriots throughout the six gently swerving originals on the studio debut. Vampisoul ups the ante by adding four lengthy previously unavailable live cuts from 1972, where the band adds an electric guitarist, downs a few shot glasses of Bitches Brew and hits like golden glove, including a 14-minute reworking of Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billy Joe" that teases the pop song's melody into some strange new territory.
Quinteplus is a serious find for anyone who's thrilled to the work of Zawinul, Lonnie Liston Smith and more recently, John Medeski and Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Vampisoul's slogan is "In Search Of The Cool," and reissues like this, complete with thoughtful extras and informative liner notes, show the depths of their dedication to this ideal. Look forward to more coverage of this label's crate digging in the days to come here at JamBase. In the meantime, Quinteplus awaits you.
JamBase | Argentina
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