Acme Jazz Garage’s New Tune “Rumba Misterioso”: Lithe, Undulating, Sexy
2020 marks the tenth year that Acme Jazz Garage has been open for business in the Tampa Bay area. They play hundreds of gigs each year (including Thursdays and Fridays at Timpano in Tampa), released an outstanding eponymous debut album in 2015, and also recorded a beautiful and reverent version of “America the Beautiful.”
The group, with Philip Booth, basses; Matt Swenson, guitars; Bryan Lewis, keyboards; Pat Close, drums; and Michael Washington, percussion, are in the process of recording new material for another album. The first composition to emerge is “Rumba Misterioso,” and it represents a new peak for this seasoned and renowned group.
This song, which also features Peggy Morris on flute, was recorded, mixed and mastered by engineer John Stephan at the historic Springs Theatre in Tampa, where many area musicians go to take advantage of impeccable recording conditions. It is a wonderful blend of traditional and modern Latin jazz, connecting the dots from Tito Puente and Eddie Palmieri to Maqueque and Miguel Zenon.
Close and Washington enter first, followed by Booth and Lewis. The solos by Swenson and Lewis and flourishes from Lewis all depend upon the pulsating rhythm created by Close, Washington, and Booth, who lay down a dynamic platform to build the song on.
The song moves at a reserved tempo, lithe, undulating — this is downright sexy. This rumba should be on the dance floor, bodies intertwined.
The syncopated chorus ups the tempo with its infectious groove. Morris often doubles melodies, and she introduces Swenson’s solo first, perfect in this setting, reminiscent of John Tropea and Santana in those deep grooves.
Swenson takes the song back to the head, and Morris then leads to the gorgeous piano solo from Lewis. Finally, they return again to the main theme and take it out with one more great bouncing chorus.
This is a complete team effort; the rhythm work is equally as critical as the solos here. Frankly, we cannot wait to hear what else is in store from Acme Jazz Garage. They have certainly whetted our appetites!