Artist: Michael Simon

Date of Release: 01/06/2004

Catalogue no: BMCD 442

Label: Pramsi Records

Price: £12

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Track Listing







Before I go




Juliana Bridge Bomba-Blues




My Response




Ocho Rios Mood







Por Instinto







Spiritual Affinities





"The revealing sounds of Michael Simon & Roots United "Revelación" express a unique blend of modern jazz with afro-caribbean rhythms and interpretations, as well as the use of western compositional techniques and improvisations. It is considered to offer a promising outlook in the evolution of Latin jazz by defining a distinct approach. A tendency is noten in the use of enriched afro-venezuelan, -cuban, -puertorican and -brazilian grooves. For this special project Michael had the opportunity to gather some of the best musicians in the dutch Latin and Jazz fields, as well as re-uniting the Simon brothers."

Revelación features Michael Simon - trumpet, flugelhorn and vocals, Konstantin Klashtorni - alto saxophone, Efraïm Trujillo - tenor and soprano saxophones, José Luis Lopretti - piano, Leslie López - baby bass, Gerardo Rosales - congas, (afro-venezuelan) percussion and vocals, Marlon Simon - drums, timbales and percussion, J.C. "Bulú" Viloria - lead vocals on #4, Special Guests: Ilja Reijngoud - trombones on #1, Edward Simon - piano on #7, Michael Simon & Roots United "Revelación"

All compositions and arrangments by Michael Simon

Produced by Marlon Simon and Michael Simon

Released by Pramisi Records Distributed by Munich Records

Artists: Michael Simon & Roots United"




07/10/2006 Jerry D'Souza (allaboutjazz.com)

Michael Simon was born in a family where music was a strong persuasion. His father Hadsy, a guitarist and singer, first inculcated the love of music in him, while his brothers Edward and Marlon turned his ear towards jazz. After attending a concert by Irakere in Curacao, he went to Cuba and learned the music of that country. Three years later, in 1992, he moved to the Netherlands, where he now resides.
Simon composed and arranged all the music on Revelación, which falls not only into the Latin jazz category, but also the realm of Afro-Venezuelan rhythms as well. He makes full use of the styles and turns out a highly satisfying record.

Simon uses the blues as the base for “Juliana Bridge Bomba-Blues,” fermenting it with a bop beat which he essays with technical facility on the trumpet, sounding edgy and flinty as he drives the pulse. Jose Luis Lopretti brings in a lighter hue, his fingers dancing on the piano keys, the whole wrapped in bomba and calypso rhythms. There is a lot in there, but it is all put together seamlessly, making it an aural delight.

While brother Marlon plays drums on all the tracks, Edward (piano) joins Michael for the remarkable “Renacer.” The two are also brothers in spirit, playing with a striking depth of communication. In doing so, they ignite the tune with an intense, warm glow, turning this ballad into one of the highlights of the album.

Simon finds his “Spiritual Affinities” with alto saxophone player Konstantin Klashtorni. This composition has a lot going for it: not only are there several Venezuelan rhythms, but Simon and Konstantin show how they can ride on top of them and create jazz harmony. Konstantin daubs a wide tonal canvas and complements Simon perfectly, both in the pictures they create and in their tradeoffs along the way. In doing so, they put the final stamp of class on the recording.


08/06/2006 Ian Mann

Trumpeter and composer Michael Simon was born in Venezuela in 1975. He moved to Cuba to study the trumpet in 1991 before moving on again to Holland and the Rotterdam Conservatory where he completed his trumpet studies at the jazz department. He remained at the Conservatory and later graduated in arranging and composition.

Today he is still based in Rotterdam and if this album, his debut as a leader, is anything to go by he is now putting all that learning to very good use.

"Revelacion" is an extremely attractive album of Latin flavoured jazz. However, Simon is not content to take the easy option of just producing dance and party music as so often happens under the "Latin" banner. Although much of his music is eminently danceable there is a spirit of adventure about his writing and there is much more to his composing than that. He is not afraid to mix moods, rhythms and tempos and as a result this is a well-programmed collection that holds the attention of the listener from beginning to end.

Technically Simon is a fine trumpeter and his own playing is at the heart of the arrangements. He has assembled a highly talented band including his brother Marlon on drums and percussion. Pianist Jose Luis Loprettri shines throughout the album and is also integral to the group’s sound.

The album opens with "Before I Go" featuring Venezuelan rhythms and a fine solo from guest trombonist Ilja Reijngoud.

"Juliana Bridge Bomba-Blues" is an excellent example of the fusion of jazz and Latin elements. A jazz/blues theme is underpinned by bomba and calypso rhythms. Lopretti contributes a sparkling piano solo.

"My Response" is a reflective ballad featuring Lopretti’s thoughtful piano and Simon’s warm trumpet and flugel tones.

"Ocho Rios Mood" actually incorporates several moods. It begins exuberantly featuring the vocals of J.C. Bulu Viloria and Michael Simon himself driven along by percussionists Marlon Simon and Gerardo Rosales. The piece then adopts a more sombre tone featuring the melancholy ring of Simon’s muted trumpet.

"Mangueriando" again combines a jazz structure with Latin rhythms and a cool trumpet solo from Simon. Lopretti contributes a delicate solo and saxophonists Efraim Trujillo and Konstantin Klashtorni show up well on tenor and alto respectively.

"Por Instinto" continues in a similar vein but "Renacer" is a hauntingly beautiful duet between Michael Simon on trumpet and his brother Edward making a guest appearance on piano. There is great empathy between Michael’s burnished trumpet sound and Edward’s rolling piano chords. Both Edward and Marlon are resident in the US these days and it is unusual for all three Simon brothers to appear on the same record.

The closing "Spiritual Affinities" is the longest and most ambitious track on the record and again encompasses a variety of moods and tempos rooted in the rhythms of Venezuela. Opening with a fanfare it takes in a percussion dialogue and concludes with the interlocking horns of Klashtorni’s alto and the leader’s trumpet.

This is a refreshing album which transcends the clichés that can sometimes blight Latin Jazz.

The care taken in the writing and arrangements and the quality of the playing make this album stand out from others in its field. In the event of Simon bringing his band to the UK they should be well worth catching live.


14/02/2005 Carl Stober (for Jazzreview.com)

Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. Charlie Parker spoke these words decades ago, however they are even more factual in this musical age we exist in. What he proclaimed was, know you, know what is you, understand what it is to be you, then deliver that to your audience, this is what Michael Simon has accomplished. Within the grooves of Mr. Simon’s debut project “Revelación” released in 2004 by Pramisi Records, is himself wrapped around years of travel and culture. “Revelación” is a musically poetic tour through his looking glass.

On this trip through composition, Mr. Simon has assembled a diverse array of premiere talent to escort him. Family reunites with Michael on trumpet and vocals, Marlon sticks with percussion, and Edward taps the keys. Others of note are Efraim Trujillo(Tenor/Soprano sax), Konstantin Klashtorni (Alto sax), and Leslie López (Bass), just to name a few. Such a montage of musical memorabilia, one can not help but be taken by the sound.

Clarity in tone and pitch is so very important for jazz brass to excel, this is what you experience with Mr. Simon. Impressive is the only declaration that can explain how the music moves the one listening. Peers who have witnessed this project as well feel drawn to the clenching effect the music has on them.

Also note the flavor of Latin Jazz within. Mr. Simon’s crusade to promote the genre of Latin Jazz is well noted in this piece. Take a few spins on cuts such as “Spiritual Affinities” and “Mangueriando”, both rhythmical and intensely driven by the passion of the moment. The unity of horns grasps your attention with a range of style changes.

This is a work of art, produced from the heart of many, through the mind of one Mr. Simon. Take this to your favorite moment and play.


01/11/2004 Nelson Gonzalez (for Latin jazz magazine)

Truly an album which depicts the early stages of a talented composer/arranger. Following in the same footsteps of his brothers Marlon and Edward...Michael is creating a voice on his own. Revelacion clearly defines this album...every tune in it's own language expresses revelation to something which touched this musician deeply. Old memories...loved ones...good times...and bad times are all laid out in these tracks for those who understand and relate. Musicians play with such professionalism, respect and precise tone. I know Michael had a good time reminiscing while writing these compositions. Definitely an album which should receive more recognition by Latin Jazz listeners and abroad...my favorite tune is "Ocho Rios Mood"


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