El Conde Negro (Destiny Records)
Reviewed by Jay Trachtenberg, Fri., June 5, 2015
Austin trumpeter Pete Rodriguez here pays tribute to his late father, renowned singer and percussionist Pete "El Conde" Rodriguez, a member of the New York salsa ensemble Fania All-Stars and headliner in his own right. From the album's title to the handful of tunes previously recorded by Pete Sr., it's a beautiful set from start to finish and provides an expert forum for Rodriguez's heartfelt horn. "Soy la Ley" (I Am the Law), "Perdomo's Blues," and the closing title track give Rodriguez room to stretch and demonstrate his formidable chops, but the more contemplative "Catalina la O," "Convergencia," and "Guaguanco de Amor," all associated with his Puerto Rican father, give El Conde Negro its heart and soul. Rodriguez originals "Gravity" and "Ten Fe" are memorable as well, while brilliant pianist Luis Perdomo proves an ideal foil for the bandleader. El Conde Negro would make any father proud.