Quicksilver Puerto Rican drummer Henry Cole knows how Wayne Shorter might have jammed with Fela Kuti. Or what Miles would have done if only he’d gone Afro-Caribbean with his rock-jazz hybrids. He hears how jazz can grab the rootsy sounds of bomba, plena, and Cuban rumba, and sparkle with electro sheen and rock energy.
Cole & the Afro-Beat Collective on Roots Before Branches (release: March 13, 2012), a gently autobiographical yet firmly funky vision that channels the joie-de-vivre of Cole’s home scene in Puerto Rico and the bright sophistication of New York’s jazz heights. Equally able to jam with a hip hop crew or jazz masters, Cole harnesses his well-honed rhythmic power and his love of catchy, evocative melodies to create a deep, wide-ranging vision of unity, balance, and Afro-Caribbean creativity.