Grammy® Award-winning drummer Robby Ameen's latest release, Days in the Night features his all-star working band, tenor saxophonists Troy Roberts and Bob Franceschini, trombonist Conrad Herwig, pianist Manuel Valera and bassists Lincoln Goines and Yunior Terry. On Days in the Night the band lays down a mixture of high-energy, cutting-edge Afro-Cuban, funk and post-bop jazz that smoothly blends together to create a unique and eclectic sound. Even with these varying genres wrapped into one, the band never looses its roots in preserving the tradition of Afro-Cuban and Latin music - consistently paying homage to the rhythms that have shaped its history.
Also participating as an invited guest is Ameen's longtime employer, Ruben Blades, taking us on a journey of guaguanco, salsa and timba jazz. The band's lengthy and wide history of playing together allows them to move and react through a variety of genres while still retaining the focus and understanding of a group sound. The cohesiveness of the band is one to marvel considering the polyrhythmic tendencies of each player with every musician contributing brilliantly to the overall tight sound. Most of the repertoire consists of Ameen's original compositions and arrangements, incorporating the many styles and influences he has absorbed as a sideman for such diverse artists as Ruben Blades, Jack Bruce, Dizzy Gillespie, Dave Valentin, Paul Simon and Eddie Palmieri. Meanwhile he has grown as a composer and arranger through the experience of leading his own bands over the last fifteen years.
The album also includes several duets between Robby and Troy Roberts exploring the freedom in the pairing of sax and drums while playing over interesting form-based arrangements. Days in the Night is a record that lives up to the realization that progressive jazz can go into so many different directions as long as the integrity of its roots are still respected, that categories are less relevant than ever before, and that one can be free to use all of one's listening and playing experiences to go beyond preconceived labels.
Ameen will be performing music from Days in the Night at Club Bonafide on Saturday, December 12. Ameen will be joined by the same band that appears on the album for two sets at 8:00 and 10:30pm.
Robby Ameen has lived in New York City since the early '80s and has established a recording career stretching from Dizzy Gillespie to Paul Simon, while maintaining a more than 20-year relationship with Latin icon Ruben Blades as a member of Seis del Solar. Although he is of Lebanese origin, Ameen is best known for the unique and powerful Afro-Cuban jazz style he has developed. Growing up in New Haven, Connecticut, Ameen was able to take advantage of his proximity to New York City by going to clubs and hearing many of the great jazz masters at a very young age. At the same time, he was involved in the local jazz and Latin scene, as well as later attending Yale University, where he received a Bachelor's degree in literature. His jazz roots were strongly influenced by his studies with the great Ed Blackwell in high school, while in college he studied classical percussion with the renowned Fred Hinger. As a leader, Ameen wrote, arranged, and produced the album Days in the Life, and as a co-leader has recorded three records with the "El Negro and Robby Band" alongside drummer Horacio "el Negro" Hernandez. He helped found the Latin-jazz power trio "Overproof," and also made two latin-jazz records with Seis del Solar.