Martignon’s witty conception… pairs tunes that sequentially bookend each other. Time shifts, brisk turnarounds and bounding rhythms flash by with… dry bravado…it’s a likable mix. Martignon solos with crisp invention, and breathily sings his heartfelt “Observatory”. Fred Bouchard, DOWNBEAT Nov, 07

His third album as a leader and freshman statement for this record label, pianist/composer Hector Martignon seemingly enlists the entire New York Latin-jazz musicians’ community for this rather zippy, and upbeat endeavor. These tracks feature bass heroes such as Eddie Gomez, Richard Bona and Matthew Garrison laying it all out within a variety of tempos and dynamically-inclined opuses. Oh, and let’s not forget drummers Dafnis Prieto, Jeff “Tain” Watts, Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez; pianist Kenny Barron, and guitarist Mark Whitfield lending their formidable wares as the list goes on. At times, the musicians’ expenditure of raw energy would conceivably be ample enough to power New York City’s subway system. Therefore, a hefty portion of Martignon’s compositions are designed with impetus-building signatures; brisk Latin-jazz rhythms and pumping bass lines in concordance with the soloists’ zesty call/response mechanisms. They temper the flow a bit on the rock-funk tinged piece “You Won’t Forget Me,” featuring Whitfield’s medium-toned licks and the leader’s tuneful single note phrasings. Moreover, Martignon affords his band-mates’ room to explore and navigate amid catchy melodic hooks morphed with peppery Salsa grooves and much more. (Zealously recommended…) – Glenn Astarita EJAZZONLINE.COM

Just in — superlative Afro-Latin jazz release by pianist Héctor Martignon.
Martignon, who has worked with Irazu, Ray Barretto, Luis Bonilla, and Descarga Boricua, has brought together a crew of amazing players … The result is a nearly overwhelming blast of rhythm and chordal slight of hand. Recorded in four sessions, each with different players.
Highly Recommended. DESCARGA

I love every track. SOLAR LATIN JAZZ ONLINE

Controlled rhythmic articulation, a technique of compositional skill, & above all an intense imaginative artistic power is manifest in jazz pianist’s Hector Martignon’s delivery. Hector is unremitting in his projection of strict yet lavish, original, & aesthetic art. His choice of colossal talents of the likes of Eddie Gomez & Kenny Barron insures a project that is animated, but without any nonsensical romantics. Rather, the whole project takes on a warm, ‘personal’ matrix of performance due to the care Hector takes in his choice of sidemen. His subtle use of lightness, phrasing, accent, nuance, et al give this disc a real-time sense of sensitiveness. George W. Carroll/The Musicians’ Ombudsman EJAZZONLINE.COM


HECTOR MARTIGNON/Refugee: Martignon is a real classic jazzbo in a good way. He respects tradition and gets some of this hippest cats around to show up for his sessions. Accordingly, he writes with them in mind and you get a very special kind of set. This outing is loaded with killer cats, like his past works, and the music is highly rewarding. Bringing in jazz pros from all tastes and generations, Martignon is no “Zelig”, he’s the core that holds it all together. Wonderful listening that’s going to take your ears to unexpected, welcome places sure to resoundingly open them wide. In fact, the music hits the ground running and you will be blown away by what a driving date this is that never let’s up. Genre splicing a fusion attitude with a post bop mentality, Martignon has something really special on the
ball/ A pure killer date. MIDWEST RECORD

…very good music, inventive, played by excellent musicians.
For me, it’s a wonderful discovery….Serge Warin, RADIO CANAL BLEU, FRANCE

Pianist Hector Martignon works in a decidedly Afro-Cuban style, but there’s something unique about the hard edges around his sound and something decided unusual about his particular brand of Latin jazz — I wish I could put my finger on what it is. It may have to do with his equal ability to swing and to bounce (and even, in one startling instance, to stride!), or with the occasionally sideways nature of his chord changes. Whatever the explanation, this is a thrilling album — one that should find a place in most jazz collections. Rick Anderson, Editor CD HotList: New Releases for Libraries Sparks

Neben dieser weitgehend kommerziellen New Yorker Latin Szene gibt es heute eher Jazzer wie den kolumbianischen Pianisten Hector Martignon, der im Grunde eine ähnliche Mischung macht, aber mit völlig anderem Ergebnis. Sein Opener auf Refugee zeigt im Grunde, wo es langgeht: treibende, komplizierte, vielschichtige und teils gegenläufige Rhythmen, dazu ein Arrangement, welches zwischen Latin, Funkjazz und Rock schillert. Das Ganze ist auf spieltechnisch höchstem Niveau gespielt und man fragt sich, wieviele Wunderkinder dieser Art aus dieser Musiksparte noch kommen werden. Manchem wird dieser Power-Latin-Jazz jedoch zu überladen und hektisch vorkommen, aberdiese Musik ist eben so wie die Stadt, aus der sie kommt: Musikfür Leute, die in Energie aus Latin Music baden wollen. (Warum hat das Ganze eigentlich noch niemand “Heavy Latin” genannt?) Insgesamt huldigt Martignon am ehesten aber noch der Jazz-Seele in seiner Brust, und da dürfen Virtuosen wie Bassist Eddie Gomez oder Drummer Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez ihr ganzes Können zeigen.Jazzthetik 2007-07/08 Hans-Jürgen Lehnhart

Refugee (Zoho) by Hector Martignon is an album for those who love their jazz with a Latin touch, featuring an energy that never lets up from the moment the first notes are heard.
Martignon is a pianist who is more about the George Duke side of life than Chucho Valdes, but that does not take away from his playing and arrangements on the 8 songs featured, 75 perecent of which are originals. The title track has him paving the path that he explores on the album, every note done with precision and care. Richard Bona plays the fretless electric bass on this one with the kind of sexiness that can only come from experience with the instrument. “Eddie’s Ready” sounds like it could have been pulled from an old Keith Jarrett or Charles Mingus session, as the musicians in this session (including drummer Jeff “Tain” Watts, guitarist Mark Whitfield, and bassist Eddie Gomez find themselves in sync with each other as if they know each and every turn of the song, yet it doesn’t sound (overly) rehearsed.This album swings when it wants, and also gets into a few mellow moods here and there without taking away from the brilliance of the musicianship.Music for America, John Book:
…Yeah, the man is not a pianist to be neglected. I do believe his range as pianist is greater than most, and I would like to hear more of him in the future.by Robert R. Calder, POPMATTERS.com

1 Comment

  1. This extraordinary work by Hector Martignon “Refugio”, nominated for the Grammy in 2007, is dedicated to all those men and women, young people and children, who have had to leave their homes, their homeland, because of bastard governments, which is commonly produced in Latin America and the Caribbean. Today, 2018, this precious album takes effect with what happens in Venezuela, where there is a war, a silent war given that the civil-military dictatorship controls a rogue, corrupt state, forcing millions of people to emigrate to neighboring countries.

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