Cover to Al's CD Off Minor -
Tin Tin Deo -
Estate -
Cabano Chant -
Seven Steps To Heaven -
Tumbao Para Congueros... -
I Mean You -
Everything Must Change -

Al McKibbon

At a recent Latin jazz festival held at the Universal Ampitheatre in Los Angeles, Al McKibbon participated in a four piece "bass summit" with three Latin born legends of the genre- Cachao Isreal Lopez (who was being honored that night), Andy Gonzalez, Carlo Puerto, jr. At first glance, it might look strange for the 80 year old Chicago born, Detroit raised musician to play along side these natives of the culture. One look at McKibbon's half century long resume, however, makes it clear that he was right where he belongs. He played on Dizzy Gillespie's landmark Latin jazz recording Manteca in 1948, and throught the years, played rhythm behind genre greats Mongo Santamaria, Chano Pozo, Armando Paraza, Pataato Valdez, and Francisco Alabella-in addition to the hundreds of jazz and pop greats he has performed or recorded with over the years.

McKibbons life and career-which is literally on tape at the Smithsonian Institute--reads like the musical history of the second half og the 20th century, but one thing is missing from that storied resume-an album featuring himself as leader. Tumboa Para Los Congueros Di Mi Vida (Tumboa For The Drummers Of My Life) would be noteworthy simply the culmination of a life dedicated to the jazz and Latin idioms, but theres much more to it than that. Featuring some of Los Angeles' finest musicans and two percussionist from Poncho Sanchez's band (Jose Papo Rodriguez and Ramon Banda), the date is a vibrant, fresh ensemble work which captures the intense melodic and rhythmic spirit that characterizes so many of the superstars McKibbon has worked for over the years. It's a coming out party 50 years in the making.

"Dizzy upset the jazz world with the recording of Manteca, but I realize that my entire career in Larin music grew from that date", says McKibbon. "I simply wanted to pay homage to the genre, play Latin music with modern harmonies to create something a little different from the thousands of recordings that I have participated on in the past. While it was important to try unique arrangements of the standards I chose, the main thing I told the guys was to just play and see how things evolved. Most of the people I know in the jazz community know me from my Latin days, and it seemed natural to gravitate back towards that style."

The above text is from the liner notes of this CD