• Jonathan Widran

JUAN CARLOS QUINTERO, Table for Five!

Nearly 35 years after launching his extraordinary multi-faceted career with his debut album featuring his mentor and Wrecking Crew legend Tommy Tedesco, Juan Carlos Quintero is not only still in the game burning with Latin fired magic, but launching a whole new sonic phase on his latest album Table For Five!, which features his lead lines on semi-hollow electric guitar for the first time after decades of blazing trails on nylon string.

After resurrecting his popular indie label Moondo Records, LLC for the digital age in 2019 and releasing a repackaged version of his 1997 album The Way Home as Caminando, the Colombian born multi-talent could have set himself on a treadmill of re-releases, sharing his standard setting 90s classics with fresh audiences. Happily instead, JCQ goes full visionary, joining forces with his seamless longtime family of compadres (bassist Eddie Resto, pianist Joe Rotundi, drummer Aaron Serfaty, percussionist Joey DeLeon) to fashion a harder-hitting, more muscular vibe for his current and future jazz and Latin subgenre excursions.


JCQ brings his edgier axe power to a unique set list frontloaded with zesty and sensual spins on jazz and Latin standards, from a zippy and bustling, hard strumming romp through “Alone Together” and a whimsical cha cha cha dive into Horace Silver’s “Song For My Father” (featuring trademark brilliant solos by JCQ, Rotundi and DeLeon) to a brisk, straight ahead meets Latin spin on “Giant Steps” and tasteful approaches to Luis Bonfa’s “Manha De Carnaval” and Armando Peraza’s blazing “Mambo Balahu.”

For all that fiery interpretive brilliance, the true heart and soul of the album emerges with the two infectious Quintero originals “Table For Five…at The Cumbia Inn” (no further rhythmic explanation needed) and his snazzy, hypnotic (and slightly slower paced) revamp of “Porque Si Quieres,” whose original version appeared on his early album Caminando.