Great Latin Jazz Albums From 2012

by chip on December 31, 2012

Without a doubt, 2012 was an exciting year for the Latin Jazz world, bringing a wealth of new music to our ears at an astounding rate. We got new big band masterpieces from folks like Bobby Sanabria and Papo Vazquez, amazing tributes to Milton Nascimento, Ivan Lins, and The Beatles, not to mention some heavy hitting Afro-Cuban Jazz from Manuel Valera, Yosvany Terry, Poncho Sanchez, and more. That’s just the beginning though – there was some fantastic new Brazilian Jazz from Duduka Da Fonseca, Afro-Peruvian Jazz from folks like Gabriel Alegria, Sofia Tosello, and Yuri Juarez, as well as some unforgettable vocal performances from Kat Parra, Tania Maria, and more. Let’s not forget about the newcomers – musicians like Ed Byrne, Anne Sajdera, and Alfredo Rodriguez gave us hope that Latin Jazz has a bright future. The Pacific Mambo Orchestra and Rick Davies must us dance, while Dafnis Prieto, Elio Villafranco, Arturo Stable, and others made us reconsider what constitutes the musical style that we know as Latin Jazz. When we look back on the year, there’s a huge amount of music worth hearing that captures every interest and artistic direction imaginable.

With so much great music passing by us, it’s easy to miss some of the memorable albums that hit us during 2012; that would be a pity though – there was just so much good stuff. In the hopes of helping everyone find their way towards some great Latin Jazz from 2012, I’ve compiled a list of the some of the year’s highlights. There’s probably some things on here that you’ve heard, and there’s likely some things that you’ve missed. Take the opportunity to catch up on an album that you haven’t heard or revisit one that you haven’t checked out in a while. If there’s something missing here, let me know in the comments – I’m always on the look out for great music! Just make sure you don’t miss this great music – there’s a lot of good stuff behind us and more coming in 2013! Happy New Year!

Big Band Latin Jazz

Multiverse – Bobby Sanabria Big Band

Oasis – Papo Vazquez Mighty Pirates Troubadours

For the Moment – Bob Mintzer Big Band

Hard Hitting Afro-Cuban Jazz

Live In Hollywood – Poncho Sanchez And His Latin Jazz Band

New Cuban Express – Manuel Valera

Today’s Opinion – Yosvany Terry

Afro Blue Monk – Chembo Corniel Quintet

Casa Versailles – Tumbao Bravo

On the Way – Negroni’s Trio

The Vibesman – Mike Freeman ZonaVibe

Oye! – Johnny Conga

Great Latin Jazz Vocals

Belezas – Carol Saboya

Las Aventuras de Pasión! – Kat Parra

Canto – Tania Maria

Volando – Anna Estrada

Afro-Peruvian Jazz

Afro-Peruvian Jazz Secrets (El Secreto del Jazz Afroperuano) – Gabriel Alegria Afro-Pervuain Sextet

Tangolandó – Tangolandó, Sofia Tosello & Yuri Juárez

Beatles Afro Peruvian Jazz Tribute – Richie Zellon

Brazilian Jazz

Samba Jazz – Jazz Samba – Duduka Da Fonseca Quintet

Constelação – Brazilian Trio

Salsa Jazz

Pacific Mambo Orchestra – Pacific Mambo Orchestra

Salsa Norteña – Rick Davies

Next Generation Latin Jazz

Conquistador – Ed Byrne’s Latin Jazz Evolution

Sounds of Space – Alfredo Rodriguez

Azul – Anne Sajdera

Latin Jazz That Made Us Think Differently

Dos y Mas – Elio Villafranca & Arturo Stable

Dafnis Prieto Proverb Trio – Dafnis Prieto, Kokayi & Jason Lindner

Dia Y Medio/A Day and a Half – Paquito D’Rivera & Berta Rojas

Lady of the Island – Andrea Brachfeld

The Noguchi Sessions – Arturo O’Farrill


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