Artists Worth Checking Out: Bill Cunliffe Keeps Up On The Latin Vibe

Born on June 26, 1956 in Lawrence, Massachusetts and graduate of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, Bill Cunliffe has taken on Latin jazz for over three decades and spreading his love to students eager enough to learn while being a Professor at Cal State-Fullerton.

His career led him to many varying gigs through the years, most notably being a regular member of both the Clayton Brothers Quartet and the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.  He would later win a Grammy Award in 2009 for Best Instrumental Arrangement.

One of his early musical inspirations was the work done by Paul Simon.  It eventually spawned on to making a dozen album under the Paul Simon Songbook (there is a brief mention on the AllMusic.com site if you want to learn more).

This week’s album entry features his 1995 journey to Rio–complete with simply picturesque postcard views of Sugarloaf Mountain embedded around the rather scary circumstances Bil faced when landing in Rio prior to making the album in June 1994.  Mix in that a wild World Cup champion parade and then he finally meets the likes of Ricardo Silveira, Marcos Ariel, and Oscar Castro-Neves.

I will spare you the details, but I will say this:  For those traveling internationally, always double and triple check to make sure that you do not leave behind every vital document (passport, visa, etc.) needed to gain proper entry and readmission back to your home country.

As for the album itself, it takes on a very methodical, calming, soothing pace.  This would be excellent music for simple parties or just in case you had too many tomatoes mixed in with your favorite dinners–this album would most definitely calm any stomach pains that you might have lingering inside (for any true reason or not).

Besides the standards on Track 2, Vince Guaraldi’s famous rendition of “Cast Your Fate to The Wind” for all of you Peanuts cartoons out there (myself included) and Paul Simon’s rather hoky number on Track 4, “She Moves On.”  The remaining tracks lend a very sympathetic ear…definitely not too fast, nor slow of a pace.

Overall, even by the time he returned to Los Angeles to complete the album, I can safely say that this album is a keeper, definite addition to your jazz collection.

Next week in time for Halloween, there won’t be anything spooky here I promise.

But rather, another nice entry as the leaves are just starting to turn to the gorgeous foliage where normally all of the leaves shed at once.  But with all of the rain most of the northern United States experienced from April on, hopefully next week’s entry from the Lindberg Hemmer Foundation when they dealt with their 2001 entry on Brazilian Architecture should end the month on a very good note.

Look for that hopefully by the middle of this week.  The reason being is that in my other blog–I will be working on some rather big things there with the curtain to rise on yet another exciting season of men’s NCAA Division One college basketball.  Just you wait until the first blog of the new season goes live, it is going to be fun.

At least, I will leave behind some virtual treats to fill your plastic pumpkin bowls just in time for trick or treating.  Leave the ghosts and ghouls behind and stick around here for more goodies yet to come for the rest of the year.  See you then.

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