Pedrito Martinez – CHIRP, Ballard Park – September 1, 2015
Martinez leads this bare-bones Afro-Cuban group. The modestly scaled roster doesn’t prevent them from putting out a really full sound, including the occasional four part vocal harmony. A lot of the traditional stuff they do gets to jazz via folk music, perhaps less typically than the more familiar (to me) blues-based route. It has a degree of simplicity that allows for subtle improvisation and Martinez’s piercing vocal goads. On the other hand, Pantoja-Aleman composes some of the group’s songs, which have complex unexpected circuitous structures whose logic (but not beauty) was beyond my grasp. Benevides takes advantage of various percussive effects extracted from his electric bass.