Virtuosity can be a villain. Sometimes you want to yell “shut the fuck up” when a performer is continuously showing off their technical chops. But the Cuban drummer knows exactly how to dazzle without flaunting the flash. His Si O Si foursome just dropped a live CD recorded at this venue last spring, and the rigor of its rhythmic thrust gives everything—Manuel Valera’s percussive piano action, Peter Apfelbaum’s tenor sax tornados—some extra oomph. Using pan-Caribbean syncopation strategies while tilting towards the spectacular is this outfit’s standard operating procedure.
Oct. 9-11, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m., 2009
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 6, 2009