With the release of Mosaic, their first studio album since 2003’s Birds of a Feather, the Grammy award-winning group, the Caribbean Jazz Project led by vibist/marimbist/composer Dave Samuels, has again served notice that they are among the most thoroughly inventive Latin-jazz ensembles of this, or any, era. Drawing on a variety of Afro-Cuban, Venezuelan, Peruvian, Jamaican, and North American rhythms, the CJP comes through with flying colors on Mosaic, which features three different bands. On four tracks, Samuels leads a quintet that adds a new sound for the CJP: organ/piano—Alain Mallet, acoustic bass—Boris Kozlov, drums—Dafnis Prieto, and percussion—Roberto Quintero. On two other tracks violinist Christian Howes is added to the sonic mix. The remaining three selections find Samuels reunited with former CJP co-founders reedman Paquito D’Rivera and steel pan player Andy Narell.
From their arresting treatment of Miles Davis’s "Nardis" to Mallet’s clever "St. Ogredol" (built on the chord changes of the standard "On Green Dolphin Street"), and from Narell’s singing line that is "Wazo Dayzeel" to Samuels’s sensual "Slow Dance," the Caribbean Jazz Project creates a brilliantly multi-hued mosaic.