Papo Vazquez in the NYT (free registration req.)
His Carnival in San Juan CD is one of my favorites.
Everything about Mr. Vazquez’s music demands attention. Even when sitting in the middle of big-band brass sections, Mr. Vazquez, a presence in New York Latin jazz since the 1970’s, stood out: he made a quick and ready intelligence bristle in each note. … — Mr. Vazquez seems to want to give his own band the tense, ecstatic feel of a constant moña.
His septet, Pirates and Troubadours, which played at the Jazz Standard on Tuesday, doesn’t perform Cuban clave rhythms. Active off and on for about 10 years, and too seldom heard for the thrill it generates, it builds on the rhythms of bomba and plena music, African-derived just like the Cuban rumba, but with different patterns and different drums.