Wayne Wallace “Intercambio” Has Latin Jazz Diversity


How do you diversify Latin Jazz? Well, there are a lot of options, and veteran trombonist and producer Wayne Wallace does just that in “Intercambio”.

“Intercambio” Delivers Diversity of Rhythms

The Bay Area bandleader gave his Latin Jazz Quintet and several special guests all they can handle with a variety of songs and rhythms in “Intercambio”. In his 5th studio release with his acclaimed Latin Jazz Quintet, Wallace mixes jazz elements with various rhythms of the African Diaspora, including son, timba, comparsa, bomba, and whatever else Wayne could think of, like Salsa, Bebop, and hip hop.

Wayne Wallace's "Intercambio" Latin Jazz album
“Intercambio” is Wayne Wallace’s 5th recording with his Latin Jazz Quintet.

The 1st track “Casa del Sol” is dedicated to Eddie Palmieri, and you can hear his influence in Wallace’s composition. That gives way to Wallace digging to the classic jazz well by adding a song each from Miles Davis (“Solar” – “En el solar de Miles”), Dizzy Gillespie (“Algo Bueno” – “Woody n’ You”) and John Coltrane (“Equinox”), converting them into Afro Cuban versions that are perhaps the most exciting of the album.

But then there’s “Heart and Soul” one of my favorites as it is one of 2 songs (along with J.J. Johnson’s “Shutter Bug”) that uses a 4-trombone setting with a sound that gives a taste of Manny Oquendo’s Conjunto Libre. The jazz and Salsa combination here is the one that really excites my music taste buds.

“Algo Bueno” is an adaptation of Dizzy’s song, with a backdrop of Puerto Rican “Bomba” masterfully performed by veteran master percussionist Michael Spiro, a longtime collaborator in Wayne Wallace’s Latin Jazz Quintet, and now both are peer professors at Indiana University jazz program.

Here’s a YouTube of “Heart and Soul”…

“Intercambio” a Must Have for Serious Latin Jazz Fans

I was engaged all the way through “Intercambio”. Wayne Wallace’s Latin Jazz Quintet really turned it up a notch with the diversity of rhythms, the thoughtful combination of original and classic jazz compositions, and the timely guest artists.

Wayne Wallace with his Latin Jazz Quintet
“Intercambio” will likely earn Wayne Wallace another shot at a Grammy.

I can’t leave out of this review the presence of guest percussionist John Santos, who here participates in the vocals of “Solar”, and “Gurarachando”, the later a song I didn’t highlight above but it’s as enjoyable as any in this album.

Serious fans of Latin Jazz have probably followed the 6-time Grammy nominee Wayne Wallace for a while, and “Intercambio” will provide them with a jambalaya of the best Wayne’s Latin Jazz Quintet can offer.

Wayne Wallace Talks About “Intercambio”

I always enjoy listening to an artist talk about his/her work. Here’s a promo video of Wayne Wallace on his album “Intercambio”.

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