05.18.18NEW Chamber Music America New Jazz Works World Premier

Samuel Torres was awarded for the second time the New Jazz Works Grant by CMA. This new project for a 10 piece band will be performed on May 18 at Aaron Davis Hall (Harlem's City College)

05.28.17Samuel Torres Sextet in Australia

Samuel will be performing at Bird's Basement Jazz Club in Melbourne, Australia from August 22 to August 27, 2 sets per nigth. Featuring:
Alex Norris on Trumpet, Tom Guarna on Guitar, Silvano Monasterios on Piano, Rubén Rodriguez on Bass and Pablo Bencid on Drums

08.10.15Review on Downbeat Magazine

"Balanced and brimming with emotion, sophisticated and passionate, Torres’ heartfelt gesture to his homeland is a new career apex."

08.09.15Review on JazzTimes

"Torres is a percussionist with a genuine gift for piercing melody and provocative harmony. Forced Displacement takes its place with other great jazz odes to protest and mourning"

07.13.15Samuel's Music Featured in NPR

"a fascinating new album by percussionist Samuel Torres." Felix Contreras

07.10.15"Forced Displacement" Gets 5 Stars at Latin Jazz Network

"Behind impressive technical accomplishments is a mastery of letter and spirit that cogently demonstrates the depth of his understanding supremacy in ensemble playing while letting the narrative unfold"
Raul da Gama

06.07.12 AWARDED New Jazz Works Grant by Chamber Music America

Samuel has been recently awarded the New Jazz Works by Chamber Music America; He will be researching and composing for this new comissioned piece, that will be premiered and recorded on 2013

08.02.10Yaoundé Review at Latin Jazz Net

"...Torres has certainly attempted something really ambitious. To the extent that he has managed to maintain the level of energy that is required conducting a sort of ritual prayer and cleansing, this album hold up at most levels. It bears listening over and over again and like the skin of an onion, more meaning is revealed as the music leads the listener closer to the center of its being."

08.02.10Yaoundé Review at all About Jazz

"Samuel exploited his experience by strengthening the African strain in his own melange of jazz, Columbian, salsa, Cuban, Latin jazz and fusion. It makes Yaoundé sound very modern and deeply rooted at once"

08.01.10Yaoundé Review at Latin Jazz Corner

"...Torres balances a number of musical worlds with smart musical choices, a solid compositional perspective, and skilled performances on Yaoundé. His compositions all hold a distinctly recognizable consistency, reflecting his defined writing style. At the same time, Torres builds upon his understanding of specific genres and rhythmic styles; he writes with appropriate differences between Afro-Cuban and Colombian style. With a firm respect of cultural traditions, Torres exerts his creativity upon each context, playing with harmony, textural shadings, and arranging ideas. His use of electronic instruments and the occasional backbeat reference integrate some elements of fusion into his music, but it serves more as a color than a defining factor. Most importantly, Torres’ compositions create strong structures to highlight the outstanding performances as a band. The percussionist shines in many roles here, supporting his group with a rock solid groove and creative embellishments while soloing with fire and integrity. He rises above the typical one instrument percussionist and integrates a broad stroke of colorful sounds into his performance, pushing the music to a higher level. Valera and Benitez both frame the album with class and style; Benitez delivers a driving bass presence filled with spontaneous creativity, while Valera’s harmonic palette fills the album with rich sonorities. Both Rodriguez and Frahm consistently contribute outstanding solos to the album, inspiring enthusiastic performances from the rhythm section. Between the high level performances and diverse musical ideas, Torres has a lot of artistic elements to balance on Yaoundé, but he steadily keeps his eye on the prize; the result is a deep and inspiring musical statement that blends several pieces into an engaging display of musicianship."

07.02.10Yaoundé Review at jazz Review

Mega-talented, Columbia reared percussionist Samuel Torres extends his superior percussion faculties by transmitting an impressive compositional pen on his second outing as a leader. Torres� fluent command of Latin and world-beat rhythms underlines his thoughtful and snappy arrangements, featuring prominent jazz artists, tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm and guest clarinetist Anat Cohen.

Torres and his band generate gobs of pop and sizzle throughout the program. He embarks upon a few world-groove solo interludes within the grand schema, yet the sum of the parts equate to a rhythmic paradise. Torres employs an arsenal of hand-drums and mallet instruments while adding prismatic textural mechanisms to complement and outline the punchy horns, oscillating funk pulses, and Latin-jazz motifs.

Guest vocalist Sofia Rei Koutsovitis offers a lyrically resplendent vibe atop the leader�s indigenous Afro-Latin underpinnings on the flavorful piece, �Ronca el Canalete.� And pianist Manuel Valera�s swift phrasings add to the bravura and zip heard on �Lincoln Tunnel, where the band injects odd-metered choruses into a spicy hot Afro-Cuban theme. Moreover, Torres and his ensemble pronounce an optimistic gait, interspersed with unanticipated diversions and powerful solos by Frahm, trumpeter Michael Rodriguez and others.

Torres communicates a worldly stance amid these largely, memorable works. It�s an uplifting feast for the heart and soul. Other than his first-call session status, he shines as a formidable bandleader who possesses enviable technical gifts and a fertile imagination, all underscored by fire and passion.

03.22.10New CD "Yaoundé" Available at www.cdbaby.com & itunes Worldwide

The session confirms that this multitalented Colombian musician’s rapidly evolving prowess as a composer has come to rival his international acclaim as one of the best percussionists of his generation.

02.15.10Yaoundé Review - The Stash Dauber

Monday, February 15, 2010
Some Pretty Good Jazz Records
I'll admit to being less than an enthusiastic partisan of "Latin jazz," possibly because it's what the organizers of the local jazzfest here in Fort Worth like to book "to bring the crowds" instead of ponying up the money to pay, say, Ornette. But I'm quite taken with the Colombian-born percussionist and ex-Arturo Sandoval sideman Samuel Torres' Yaounde', which is more of a showcase for the leader's compositions -- which display tremendous sensitivity and depth -- than it is for the virtuosic fireworks (and blaring brass) we've come to expect from artists so labeled. A good example of what Torres is up to is "Bambuco (To Santa Fe de Bogota)," where Joel Frahm's soprano sax carries the lovely melody and bassist John Benitez takes a somber solo before ceding the stage to Torres' maracas. Suprising, subtly engaging stuff.

10.03.09Radio Interview for Kids in the School

Kids Talk Radio.

08.15.09"Crossing Tour 2010" / Samuel Torres - David Friedman - Peter Weniger

Crossing is an intercultural and intercontinental band project of vibraphonist David Friedman (New York), tenor saxophonist Peter Weniger (Berlin) and percussionist Samuel Torres (Bogotá).

Crossing stands for the linkage of the three artists, their various instruments and the musical cultures of their heterogeneous continents. Together, the musicians go on a rhythmic-melodic journey full of improvisations. Similarities and diversities of the respective musical influences, the extraordinary instrumentation and the brilliant performance by the artists lead to intense and fascinating live concerts.

David Friedman, famous vibraphone and marimba player, is an outstanding composer. He is professor for jazz in Berlin, where in 1989 he established the jazz study course at the Berlin University of Arts. In these days, Friedman teaches at the Jazz Institute Berlin. He performs in various international line ups and he holds workshops worldwide.

Internationally renowned saxophone player Peter Weniger achieved numerous jazz awards from in- and outside Germany. He is featured on the big stages of the world as soloist as well as part of various ensembles. Weniger is professor for jazz in Berlin, and he is also artistic director of the Jazz Institute Berlin.

Samuel Torres is not only a exceptionally gifted percussionist but also a magnificent composer. He works with internationally celebrated big names, such as Grammy winner Arturo Sandoval, but also with other very important names of the jazz and world music scene worldwide, such as Tito Puente, Pete Escovedo, Michael Brecker, Richard Bona and Lila Downs.

In 2007, Friedman, Weniger and Torres played two concerts organized by the Colombian Embassy in Germany. One concert has been recorded by Berlin public radio station RBB. Now, the three musicians continue their artistic collaboration,

12.19.08Samuel Torres Group at The New York Historical Society - SOUNDS OF THE CITY

The Samuel Torres Group
Ft: Michael Rodriguez, Xavier Perez, Osmany Paredes, John Benitez and Ludwig Alfonso
Friday, December 19, 2008 at 6:30 pm
The New York Historical Society - SOUNDS OF THE CITY concert series
170 Central Park West New York, NY 10024
Free concert

The New-York Historical Society presents a new concert series highlighting New York's musical history-makers, past and present. This seven concert series features composers and performers who have defined, and are currently defining, New York's musical profile and encompasses music from across the spectrum of classical and popular musical genres.

12.09.08NPR - Listen Live concert with Richard Bona in Switzerland

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater, November 27, 2008 - Concert Pick: In an exclusive live moment from the 2008 Basel Jazz Festival.
Go to the link to hear the Full Concert from JazzSet
Check out the percussion solo at 35'30"
Samuel Torres : Percussion, Richard Bona :Vocals & Bass, ATN : Keyboards, Ernesto Simpson : Drums, Taylor Haskins : Trumpet, Adam Stoler: Guitar

12.08.08LILA DOWNS "Shake Away" Grammy Nomination

Its been an honor and a pleasure to be part of the Lila Downs Band. The great news is that her last CD "Shake Away" (where i recorded the percussion) has been nominated for a Grammy on the World music Category.

09.14.08Samuel Torres NYC All-Stars in Barranquillazz REVIEW

"I'll start with the big hit of the festival, on Saturday night. Percussionist Samuel Torres, a bogotano living in New York, came with a group whose name -- The New York All Stars -- might seem utterly generic except that in the context of Colombia, it suggested something else: a Colombian take on the New York scene. Torres is a percussionist of considerable ability and a good composer, and he came with something new. The band he brought was an A-team New York group with Brian Lynch on trumpet -- I'm a senior member of the Brian Lynch fan club -- and Joel Frahm on sax, John Benítez on bass, Manuel Valera on piano, Ralph Irizarry on timbal, and, causing some excitement among Barranquilla jazzheads, Jeff "Tain" Watts on drums, with Torres standing in the center behind four congas. If you know those guys and what they play like, you can imagine how good it was. The high point of the set was "Un Atardecer en Cartagena de las Indias," with an extended crowd-pleasing solo on a pair of Colombian maracas llaneras. Later he played an mbira solo that was pianistic like i've never seen anyone do.

The quality of the playing apart, the success of Torres's set stemmed from the way it was both from outside and from Colombia. The band had two Puerto Ricans, a Cuban, two Midwestern gringos, an African American and a Colombian. That is, it was a New York band. But it was a different way to use a New York band. In all my years hearing Latin jazz in New York, I don't believe I've ever heard a Colombian bambuco. It was something from outside Colombia, but at the same time local. And just plain exciting music by really good cats in peak form. They haven't recorded this material yet, so watch out when they do. It's been road-tested." Ned Sublette

12.24.06Review SKIN TONES / Jazz Times

Colombian-born percussionist Samuel Torres makes his debut as a leader with a pastiche of textures and captivating compositions, accompanied by some top-notch Latin-jazz artists including the ever-funky John Benítez on bass, supreme pianist/composer Hector Martignón and drummer Ernesto Simpson. Torres links several of the tracks with brief conga interludes and provides thoughtful and interesting moods for his excellent cast, including the lyrical vocal scatting of Julia Dollison. There is a richness and diversity to Skin Tones in everything from the chosen musical genres to the occasional use of odd meter. The opener “Crazy Montuno" creates a funk-infused atmosphere and offers Martignon freedom and space to explore, followed by a very melodic conga solo by Torres, who must have at least six precisely tuned drums in his arsenal. The dialog between sax man Mike Campagna and trumpeter Mike Rodríguez continues through the song’s faded ending, leaving you wanting more. “Saying Goodbye" features a wonderfully jagged and sophisticated melody between vocalist Dollison and Rodriguez on trumpet, then calms the mood for a probing trumpet solo over a 7/4 groove punctuated by the rhythm section. Other highlights include “The Key"—a fabulously rich piece with hints of Afro-Colombian and Puerto Rican folklore, and the powerful and harmonically dense “Express to Queens." Skin Tones is at once intelligent, sophisticated and explosive. -Rebeca Mauleón

12.23.06New recording with Jeff"Tain"Watts

Samuel is a special guest in the new Jeff"tain"Watts upcoming Album, with: Christian McBride (bs), Dave Kikosky (pn), Marcus Strickland (sx) and David Gilmore (Gt)

10.15.06Review SKIN TONES / En Clave de Jazz (Español)

Nuevamente – como ha venido siendo, una constante reafirmación de convicciones, para mi – otra excelente muestra del mejor quehacer jazzístico sudamericano, mestizo, hispanoamericano. Me llega este trabajo de Samuel Torres. A Samuel lo conocí (personalmente) hace poco tiempo, habiendo escuchado y leído de el dado que forma parte del staff del carismático y formidable músico que es Richard Bona. Señores! hay que estar atento a el.
Todos los temas de Skin Tones, como bien lo describe Gary Domínguez de La Conga y, los cuales son todos de la autoría y arreglos del propio Samuel, nos proporcionan un viaje musical de diversidad, colores y matices. El CD está muy logrado de principio a fin, sin fisuras, con demostraciones de virtuosismo y dominio del los instrumentos pero, sin estridencias ni exagerados protagonismos sino, que todo está cohesionado para darle un resultado equilibrado a todo el producto.
En lo personal he encontrado picos de gran altura en los diferentes temas, como en “Ajiaco" un aire de cumbia de gran factura o, impresionado con el arpa de Castañeda en “Rumba con María" llanerísmo, todo el mérito sin duda es de Samuel Torres al reunirlos para este resultado, como la misma introducción del canto de Julia Dollinson (un hallazgo) incluso el percibir un sonido “Irirraziano", finalmente homenaje, en “Crazy Montuno" repito, para una cuidada y atractiva producción total. (JR)

08.27.06Review Concert at NYC's BLUE NOTE

Samuel Torres, a dynamic Latin percussionist, appearing in clubs about town, opened this second brunch set with a Colombian harp-cahone (a wooden, percussive box, also used in Flamenco) duo. The beat was salsa, and the sound was sensational. Edmar Castañeda produced a milder sound, elegant and melodic, that contrasted with Samuel Torres’ heated action. Torres’ style was straight and searing, as unusual rhythmic effects were drawn from various points on the box. El Pozo, in memory of great percussionists who are no longer with us, brought out the full band, and Michael Rodriguez’ trumpet pierced the club with sharp, clear sound. Ernesto Simpson on drums, Ricky Rodriguez on bass, Manuel Valera on Bösendorfer piano (courtesy of Bösendorfer New York), and Torres on congas all created an Afro-Latin mood, pulsating and exotic. The full compliment of up front and close congas, all positioned on the floor, added power and passion to this and to each of the following compositions. The piano took an abstract jazz theme, accompanied by conga clavé, and a fused sound followed the Latin showcase. In Ajiaco, dedicated to Torres’ homeland, Colombia, a conga-drum duo ensued with ethnic energy. It ended in a whisper.

As a tribute to Africa, Torres wrote Yaounde, named for the capital of Cameroon. Wood blocks, wind chimes, shakers, and other exotic percussion fused with the band in a wild African motif, evocative of the scores heard in Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Michael Rodriguez’ trumpet soared and resounded through Blue Note, as cymbals clashed and congas echoed. A sharp trumpet ending merged with the band to end the African moment. The Congas Solo was truly a masterpiece, and Torres threw his physical and psychic energy into the performance. Each of the six congas was played in different ways - different rhythms, volume, and tone - a true conga tribute for the enjoyment of the audience. Express to Queens, the brunch finale, featured a rapid beat, hot and brassy, with Valera’s piano and Ricky Rodriguez’ electric bass adding to the Caliente! mood.

05.16.06Review SKIN TONES at Jazz Review

It comes as no surprise that the Columbian-born musician is exceedingly talented. You don't get the opportunity to play with Arturo Sandoval, and celebrated African performer, Richard Bona, by being less than great. It also is no surprise that Torres comes from a family deeply rooted in music, his grandfather a trombonist, and his grandmother a self-taught guitarist, and singer. These great early influences also provided the jazz records in which the percussionist was first taken by. "I went to sleep with this music and the sounds floated in my head all night long," says Torres.

If there is any surprise, it comes with Samuels' sensitivity and maturity as a composer and band leader at such a young age. The musicians on Skin Tones, the 2006 One Soul Records release, were hand-picked by Torres. John Benitez has a warm, rich tone on his electric bass that goes tightly with the time-keeping skills of drummer Ernesto Simpson. Hector Martignon on piano brings out much of the classical elements of Skin Tones, and also beautifully accompanies the soft, silky voice of Julia Dollison, which floats brilliantly over the music on tracks such as "Observatory," and "The Key." Mike Campagna on tenor saxophone and Michael Rodriguez on trumpet and flugel horn are the dynamic horn section that take this immensely diversed band from Latin jazz, to shades of early bebop, to classical jazz. Rounding out the line up for Skin Tones are Edmar Castaneda on harp, Wolfgang Barros on Columbian maracon, and Ralph Irizarry on timbales.

Skin Tones showcases the textural melodies of Samuel Torres, but it is not a show-off album. Each player here contributes and leaves thier own mark, which in turn, makes this record a modern classic for all jazz lovers. Jeff "Tain" Watts has called Torres an "inventive, lyrical and special artist" and I could not agree more.
Savon Edwards

04.12.06Buy Skin Tones digital downloads on Napster and Emusic

Now Skin Tones - Samuel Torres Debut Recording is Now available for Digital Downloads at www.napster.com and on www.emusic.com

Ahora puedes comprar Skin Tones a traves de www.napster.com y www.emusic.com

03.06.06Review SKIN TONES at Latin Beat Magazine

SAMUEL TORRES Skin Tones (One Soul)

Listening to Colombian percussionist and composer Samuel Torres on his debut album Skin Tones, you discover a knowledgeable and skillful musician coming into his own. Fusing the sounds of his generation with the fundamentals of his chosen tradition, Torres creates refreshing Latin jazz blends that, for the most part, are acoustic in nature and filled with joyous contemporary harmonies and youthful vibrancy. The opening selection, Crazy Montuno, is a perfect example. John Benítez lays down with a thumping funk bass line that along with the pumping backbeat of drummer Ernesto Simpson, the boogaloo-style montuno of pianist Hector Martignón and the hardbop melodies of trumpeter Mike Rodríguez and tenor saxman Mike Campagna, sets a smoking groove in motion. Torres adds to the setting with a keen sense of tonality and superb time. Highlights abound and include the tune titled Saying Goodbye, which features the gifted Mike Rodriguez and vocalist Julia Dollison (who is heard on several other tracks). Rumba Con María adds the harp of Edmar Castañeda and lets Torres wail on a driving conga solo. For hardbop lovers, Express to Queens is a jazz gem with a well-contoured melody and an excellent solo by the unsung Héctor Martignón. Special guests include timbalero Ralph Irizarry, who helped to introduce Samuel Torres, a promising new talent that will invigorate Latin jazz for many years to come, according to my prediction. (JV)

COPYRIGHT 2006 Latin Beat Magazine

03.02.06Review SKIN TONES at Herencia Latina (spanish)

Samuel Torres – Skin Tones (One Soul Records)

Que tamaña sorpresa nos ha causado este talentoso músico de origen colombiano con su segundo trabajo titulado Skin Tones. Samuel Torres es su nombre y ejecuta la conga, lo hace con unos toques compactos, firmes y prolongados. Demuestra como domina a la perfección los cueros y cuan comprometido es con su trabajo. Y no es porque lo plasmemos en estas cortas líneas, sino que personalmente lo vimos actuar en el Teatro de la Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico - Recinto Metropolitano, para noviembre de 2005. Allí con su vitalidad puso de relieve cuan refrescante se ha constituido para nuestra música latina y desde luego, en una joven promesa para las congas, (luego de la reciente perdida del maestro Ray Barretto). En dicho espectáculo le sometió a un solo de cueros por cerca de 25 minutos, además de hacer un alto en una de sus piezas y tocar con ambas manos un prolongado solo de maracas, que robo un caluroso aplauso de un público sorprendido por su actuación.

En este CD Samuel Torres ejecuta las congas y se hace acompañar de una nomina de lujo: John Benítez en el bajo, Héctor Martignon en el piano, Jualia Dollinson en las voces, Mike Rodríguez en la trompeta, el cubano, Ernesto Simpson en la batería; Cowell EFX y Mike Campagna en los saxofones tenor, Edgar Castañeda en el arpa, Ralph Irizary en el timbal y Wolgang Barros en las maracas. Es un trabajo prometedor e independiente que merece el apoyo de todos. El trabajo se puede conseguir a través de su página en la Internet: www.samueltorres.com (Israel Sanchez Coll)

03.01.06Review SKIN TONES at Latin Percussion

It's your wake up call! Samuel Torres' Skin Tones is no sleeper. It's exciting from the get go, emphatically contemporary. This is not to say that Torres rejects tradition. But rather than reiterate, Torres has chosen to reconstruct in an instantly pleasing fashion. Also of significance, he has chosen instead to record fully seventeen concise tracks, many of which we'll look at.

First off, to the personnel, a distinguished lot. LP artist Samuel Torres is a percussionist of unique ability, one who uses percussion as much for color as for rhythm. Not only that, he is a gifted composer capable of a blend of melody and intricacy-a difficult balance to achieve. Usually one triumphs by sacrificing the other. What that means is that the casual listener can hum, while the musician can do all those "musicianly" things: analyze, take apart, and listen over and over. Incidentally, Torres also plays Fender Rhodes, piano, and various percussion.

Torres is aided by the nimble bassist John Benitez, pianist Hector Martignon, vocalist Julia Dollison, and killer kit drummer Ernesto Simpson. That would be enough, but we also have Mike Rodriguez on trumpet, Mike Campagna on tenor, guests Edmar Castaneda, harp, Ralph Irizarry on timbale, and Wolfgang Barros on Columbian Maracon.

To the Tracks!

"Crazy Montuno" is not so crazy as it is slick. Ernesto Simpson begins with a lick that reminds equally of LP artists Steve Gadd and Dave Weckl-with a nod to Harvey Mason. Ernesto is crisp and definite; there's never a doubt as to his intentions. Samuel has his congas tuned perfectly to complement Ernesto; it's a nice blend of mellow to crisp, respectively. As the tune closes, Mike takes a spirited sax solo and it's not so much of a mambo as a New York funk chorus.

"Interlude One" is just that, a little stretch for Samuel Torres on congas, unaccompanied. It's concise and to the point.

We move to the funky "Saying Goodbye", with its salsa undercurrent, wherein vocalist Julia Dollison, to this point an acquired taste, begins to take hold. She reminds a little of, say, Flora Purim in the way she comes up behind the note, very much in the South American tradition. Benitez holds this one together, popping and slapping the bass strings, particularly around 4:15. Twenty-four measures later a rousing drum solo appears over his ostinato. Again, who is this Simpson? The stereo panning on this track is wide, with toms to the outside, making for an exciting listen.

"Interlude Two" finds Torres in melodic mode. It's just a snippet, mind you, but it sings to you as congas rarely do.

Picking a radio hit is easy: It's "Observatory", featuring Julia's wistful, delicate vocals, very clean and attractive. Interestingly, and contrary to the pop formula, the bass takes a solo and it's totally right for the track in terms of texture and melodic content.

Melodic congas and harp provide a memorable opening for "Rumba con Maria". You're actually hearing harp in a Cuban context-plucked, struck for full improvisational effect. Meanwhile, Torres treads softly, contributing melody and interesting conga counterpart to the defined attack component of the harp.

Ernesto's sharp snare drum backbeat and firm bass drum, much in the Joey Heredia tradition, defines the next track, "Ajiaco" (Columbian potato soup), as does the languid trumpet of Mike Rodruigez. Again, we're humming along, not fighting to comprehend, and yet there's plenty of musical challenge below the surface.

A darker feel pervades "The Key", which, despite its suggestive title, is not in clave, at least the Cuban sense. Pianist Hector Martignon does some welcome stretching out around 1:36, with bass and drumset shadowing him each step of the way.

We said we'd look at a selection of the seventeen tracks presented herein, but we'd be remiss not to consider the title track. "Skin Tones" is nimble as nimble gets, a tribute to Samuel Torres' light touch, crisp articulation, and respect for exact note values. It's a beautiful solo and gone in the blink of an eye.

Other tracks to note include the angular "Express to Queens", fraught with syncopation and bustle. During the piano solo, a clave, or perhaps LP block, rears up a couple of times and vanishes, unable to take root, more significant as a color rather than in an Afro-Cuban organizational sense.

Sounding a little out-of-context is the shuffle, "Fairy Tale", perhaps the best forum for Julia Dollison's vocals. A "radio version" of "Ajiaco" is just that, as is a radio-friendly take of "Observatory" (funny, I'd already labeled the earlier version as radio-friendly!). Perhaps the vocals are mixed more to the fore. Certainly the track length is reduced by a couple of minutes. That smart bass solo is still there, if abbreviated. And that's how Skin Tones rides out, with two more radio versions of previous tunes. To some this will appear a wise move; to others the real music will have already gone by. But all will agree this is a major release.


For more information on Samuel Torres, please visit his web site.

02.01.06Review SKIN TONES at www.laconga.org (spanish)

SAMUELITO TORRES nuestro "Manenguito criollo" cumplió su cometido con su primera producción discográfica titulada SKIN TONES (me atreví a traducirla como TONOS DEL CUERO). Sorprende y hace reaccionar al melómano del jazz y la música latina, no solo por la calidad en la produccion y grabacion que es vital en este tiempo, sino por el multitalento que esgrime su protagonista al componer, hacer los arreglos y tocar conga al estilo atrevido y progresivo de un Giovanni Hidalgo, Anga, Joel y Poleo (que son palabras mayores), claro sin olvidar esa milenaria herencia de Chano, Mongo, El Niño Alfonso y Tata.
Este joven "rolo bogotano" con pinta de estudiante decente de la Universidad Javeriana tiene un background (yo lo traduciria "recorrido") que incluye 4 años con el exigente e implacable Arturo Sandoval, festivales de jazz en Japón, Usa y Europa, Segundo puesto en el dificilísimo concurso de jazz a mano libre en percusión de Thelonious Monk y sobrevivir en el dificil ambiente newyorkino del jazz latino donde ya es reconocido y aplaudido.
LOS TONOS DEL CUERO de Samuel Torres reitera que en estos dias la profesión de conguero no se limita a la "guaperia" de meterle mano fuerte al tambor y que se puede hacer un arcoiris de música alrededor del cuero, si se estudia, se escucha, se aprende y se inspira como lo ha hecho con dedicación, técnica y disciplina el joven Torres.
El recorrido por los surcos de este apasionante disco compacto autofinanciado como muchos otros buenos productos alternativos que no tienen "mecenas" en este oscuro tiempo musical en que hasta los "secretos" grammy ya se sabe quienes se los ganan y quienes los otorgan, abre con un montuno loco, que calienta el cd desde los primeros acordes, y prepara al oyente para un viaje musical que te lleva desde la madre patria, la de los gitanos y su rumba, pasando por Colombia, a Brazil, el medio oriente y termina en el subway número 7 rumbo a Queens, New York. En medio de todo este "ajiaco musical" a punto de hervir nos apacigua la voz de una sirena de nombre Julia Dollinson.
Los créditos de los músicos acompañantes demuestran que Samuel y sus Tonos de Piel merecen el aplauso (la standing ovation diría yo) y el respeto de la comunidad del jazz latino internacional. Con Ernesto Simpson en la bateria, con John Benitez en el bajo y Hector Martinong en el piano "haciendo tierra" (término eléctrico que evita los cortos circuitos) un virtuoso conguero como Samuel pudo ir del cielo al infierno, arrebatarse por las 4 congas y volver a la realidad (en otras palabras al afinque que a veces lo pierden los velocistas del tambor) con toda la tranquilidad y seguridad que este triángulo de las Bermudas musicales registro en esta singular grabación.
SKIN TONES y Samuel Torres nuestro "Giovanni colombiano" ya entró en el listado de los "grammy underground" 2005-2006 que lo otorgan los anónimos compradores y melómanos de buen latin jazz en el mundo!
Samuelito "sacaste la cédula" y te la comiste!

Altísimamente Recomendado

Gary Domínguez

09.09.05Release of Samuel Torres Debut recording "SKIN TONES"

Samuel Torres debut Album "SKIN TONES" is now available for purchase at www.onesoulrecords.com, you can click on the link to buy the CD.

08.14.05Standing Ovation At Newport Jazz Festival

At the last JVC Newport Jazz Festival, Romero and Samuel Torres, recieved the first standing ovation in the history of the Guitar Stage of the festival.

03.21.05Grammy Award Winner

Marc Anthony's " Amar sin Mentiras" was awarded the 2005 grammy as best latin pop album. Samuel plays on tracks: "Escapemonos" featuring Jennifer Lopez, "Tu Amor me Hace Bien", "Volando entre tus brazos" accompanied by The London Simphony Orchestra, arranged by Jorge Calandrelli and Julio Reyes.