Hands in Motion

Giovanni Hidalgo & Michel Camilo
Hands of Rhythm


1. And Sammy Walked In - Camilo    5:53
2. Footprints - Shorter    5:07
3. Amo Esta Isla - Milanes    4:22
4. Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise - Romberg, Hammerstein    4:15
5. My Soul Beat - Hidalgo    4:10
6. Papa Boco - Acosta, Chapuseaux, Chapuseaux    4:50
7. Blue Monk - Monk    3:47
8. If You Knew... - Camilo    5:14
9. En Mi Viejo San Juan - Estrada    4:05
10. Hello and Goodbye - Camilo    6:17
11. Hands in Motion - Hidalgo    3:02


Giovanni Hidalgo 
(floor tom, bongoes, congas, timbales, wood blocks, cymbals, chimes, cricket guiro, cowbell, goat nails, jawbone, tambourine, shakers, shekere, vibratone, cascaras, maracas, sound effects);
Michel Camilo 
Could a collaborative effort between piano virtuoso Michel Camilo and Giovanni Hidalgo, who is commonly known as the finest living conguero, possibly live up to the expectations? The answer Hands of Rhythm offers is nothing short of "All that and them some, baby." The beautiful thing about hearing both Camilo and Hidalgo in a rare duo format is that unlike larger band contexts, their genius does not compete for sonic space with anyone. Every note, every stroke is clearly audible, and crystal clear. Almost as fantastic as the instrumental performance was the repertoire chosen. In fact, the overall flavor is not what one might expect from two players known well for blistering speed. A haunting, sensitive rendition of "Footprints" and the reminiscent "En Mi Viejo San Juan" are welcome surprises from a percussion lead duo. "Softly as in the Morning" and "Blue Monk" are swinging from start to finish. With these jazzy selections, the bossa nova-at-its-best "If You Knew," and the merengue "Papa Boco," Hands of Rhythm shies away from the clave-driven music that made these two men famous. And yet, they prove themselves as adept in any one idiom as the other. Hidalgo and Camilo make up for their small numbers with both taste and sheer brilliance. Hands of Rhythm is required listening for both these musician's loyal fan bases, and the Latin jazz listening public alike. 
~ Evan C. Gutierrez, All Music Guide
Widely acknowledged among the greatest congueros of his generation, Giovanni Hidalgo was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1963, first taking up the drums five years later; the son of the noted percussionist Jose "Manengue" Hidalgo, he was educated in Latin rhythms from childhood onward, and as a teen regularly walked to local gigs with his congas strapped to his back. He soon caught the attention of the legendary Dizzy Gillespie, touring in his United Nations All-Star Orchestra for four years; Hidalgo also became a noted session player, recording with Freddie Hubbard, Paul Simon, and Mickey Hart's Planet Drum project.
In 1992, he recorded his debut solo LP, Villa Hidalgo; Worldwide followed a year later, and for 1997's Hands of Rhythm, a collaboration with pianist Michel Camilo, Hidalgo earned a Grammy nomination in the Best Latin Jazz Album category. His Greatest Hits collection followed the next year. 
~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi 
An exciting and high-powered virtuoso pianist, Michel Camilo came from a very musical family (with all nine of his uncles being musicians). Originally playing accordion, he switched to piano when he was 16. After moving to New York in 1979, his song "Why Not?" became a hit for the Manhattan Transfer and caught on as a standard, and "Caribe" entered the repertoire of Dizzy Gillespie. Camilo, who worked with Paquito d'Rivera's band for three years (cutting an album with "Why Not?" as the title cut), recorded for Electric Bird (sessions reissued by Evidence) and Columbia, and worked as a leader beginning in the mid-'80s. He has released numerous albums under his own name, including Spirit of the Moment in 2007.
~ Scott Yanow, Rovi

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