Latin Jazz Ensemble Dave Schumacher & Cubeye to Release New Album “Smoke In The Sky” on April 12th, 2024 | WATCH & LISTEN!

Jazz Ensemble Dave Schumacher & Cubeye to Release New Album “Smoke In The Sky”

An accomplished versatile virtuoso baritone saxophone player, Chicago native Dave Schumacher has been a mainstay on the New York jazz scene for more than forty years. His big, bold baritone first came to international attention during the eighties, spending much of those years touring the world with Lionel Hampton’s Orchestra. Schumacher garnered further notice following that with nearly two decades as a member of the orchestra of Harry Connick, Jr. In the 90’s he also toured with T.S. Monk’s Monk on Monk band and the Tom Harrell Octet, as well as freelance work with many others in New York and on the road.

It was during those early days with Hamp that Schumacher began to become immersed in the history of Afro-Cuban music, the result of rooming on tours with the band’s percussionist, conguero Sam “Seguito” Turner. He says “I was aware of the recordings of Bird with Machito/Mario Bauza and Dizzy Gillespie with Chano Pozo while still in high school but did not really get deeper into the music until hooking up with Sam on Hamp’s band. Sam turned me on to the traditional music of Arsenio Rodriguez, Cachao, Tata Guines, Los Muñequitos de Matanzas, Los Papines and the New York sounds of Machito, Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri and Ray Barretto.” That he has thoroughly absorbed the sophisticated rhythms evinced in the groups of those maestros and combined them with his own mastery of the jazz idiom is clearly evident on this, his fourth outing as a leader.

While Schumacher has given listeners a taste of his command of the Latin Jazz language on his previous efforts, here for the first time, leading his current working band that he’s dubbed Cubeye, he offers a full album’s worth of songs that advance the genre with an exciting 21st Century sensibility. Assisting him in firing up the music on the disc by turns heated and warm, are likeminded “musically bilingual” players – trumpeters Josh Evans and Jesus Ricardo, tenor and soprano saxophonist Peter Brainin, pianist Manuel Valera, bassist Alex “Apolo” Ayala, drummer Joel Mateo and percussionist Mauricio Hererra – each one of whom is well known for being equally skilled in playing both jazz and Latin music as one can witness throughout. Drawing upon an aggregate of experience performing with the likes of Arturo O’Farrill, Hilton Ruiz, Papo Vazquez, Yosvany and Yunior Terry, Melvis Santa and the Mambo Legends Orchestra, their combined talents are instrumental in bringing Schumacher’s cross-cultural vision to fruition.

Schumacher freely admits that two of the biggest influences on Cubeye’s musical concept are Jerry Gonzalez & The Fort Apache Band and Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers. The saxophonist recalls traveling with the latter’s big band to Japan in 1987 to perform at the Mt. Fuji Jazz Festival as one of the greatest highlights of his lengthy career. From the very start of “Smoke In The Sky”, the impact of those iconic bands on the group is clearly evident with blasting horns hitting hard in the Messenger tradition on top of the pulsating percussion that hearkens to Fort Apache’s relentless rhythmatism. Dave notes, “I was hearing the melody and harmony of the date’s fourth track, my ballad “(No More) Smoke In The Sky”, over an up-tempo groove. Manuel created this dramatic re-imagination of the original song.”

Dave concludes “The vision for this group had its seed in my musical life’s experience and interests but this extremely talented group of cats have brought this vision to life. Without their high level of artistry, musical chemistry and in no small part their input to the overall settings of the music created, this musical vision that I call Cubeye would not live as it does!”

Russ Musto
The New York City Jazz Record

Dave Schumacher – Baritone Saxophone
Josh Evans – Trumpet (1, 5-8)
Jesus Ricardo – Trumpet (2-3)
Peter Brainin – Tenor, Soprano Saxophones (1, 5-8)
Manuel Valera – Piano
Alex “Apolo” Ayala – Bass
Mauricio Herrera – Congas, Iyá, Itótele, Okónkolo, Chekeré
Joel Mateo – Drums, Bells

Executive Producer: Cory Weeds & Dave Schumacher
Produced by Dave Schumacher
Co-Produced by Hector Davila (aka Chegüi Metralla)
Recorded at Trading 8s Studio, April 19th & June 13th, 2023
Engineered by Chris Sulit
Mixed by Chris Sulit and Hector Davila
Mastered by Oscar Autie, El Cerrito Records
Photography by Peter Brainin & Dave Schumacher
Design and layout by Perry Chua

Photo Credit: Marcela Joya

Jazz Promo Services

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