+ Spirit of the Moment reviews...
"Depending on what track you’re listening to, 'Spirit of the Moment' is presenting one of three big ideas. There’s Latin jazz as we know it. There’s jazz as we know it that is unmistakably informed by the cultural backgrounds of his new trio... And there is the contemplative, rubato ballad, which reflects no particular identity or place. Each idea could generate a whole album, and it would be good to hear this fleet band make any of those records." New York Times
“‘My Secret Place’ features a striking rubato opening leading into a lovingly played Camilo ballad, pensive and introspective. Bill Evans would have applauded this performance…absorbing…” JazzTimes
"In a return to his Grammy winning form, Camilo returns to a straight ahead trio format focusing on mostly originals with a few Miles related signature pieces thrown in…The music flows nicely and this smart jazzbo simply tees it up and hits it right down the middle. Contemporary jazz piano fans have a new winner on their hands here." Midwest Record
"Michel Camilo is one of kind when it comes to piano jazz explorations, and his unique playing style is all his own. For those new to Michel Camilo, this is a fine introduction. For those who enjoy the piano stylings of Michel Camilo, this is another lovely delight to savor and enjoy. Highly recommended." Jazz Review
“After twenty years of developing his chops as a trio player, pianist Michel Camilo took a few years off to do other things -- a solo album titled Solo and a lovely orchestral homage to George Gershwin were two results of that break. With Spirit of the Moment he returns to the trio format, and he sounds refreshed and happy to be back. As always, his style is powerfully energetic and at times ideas seem to be flying out from under his fingers almost more quickly than he can fully process them. But with the help of a crack rhythm team (drummer Dafnis Prieto and bassist Charles Flores) he manages to keep his feet on the ground and generate lots of inspiring moments. Notable among them are an all-too-brief rendition of the John Coltrane classic "Giant Steps" that sounds almost like "Flight of the Bumblebee", a lovely version of Wayne Shorter's "Nefertiti", and the aptly titled "Hurry Up and Wait", a jittery and edgy uptempo original with a Latin feel. Despite his obvious affinity for faster material, Camilo also shines on the ballads: he delivers sweetly lyrical renditions of "My Secret Place" and "A Place in Time", both of them originals. Highly recommended. All Music Guide
+ Spain Again reviews...
"The formula that worked so well seven years ago, a blend of Afro-Caribbean colors, tango, jazz and flamenco, is largely repeated here, as the title, Spain Again, unambiguously suggests. The opening number, Carlos Gardel's achingly beautiful and nostalgic "Dia Que Me Quieras", could bring a tear to a hangman's eye. Three classic pieces by Astor Piazzolla, "Libertango", "Fuga y Misterio" and "Adios Nonino," allow Camilo and Tomatito maximum range of expression, and guitar and piano lines weave in and out of each other like the sure footsteps of a tango couple. Camilo's "Twighlight Glare" shows him to be a composer on par with the Argentinian maestros; here the duo marries sensitivity and emotional intensity to wonderful effect." All About Jazz
"Camilo and Tomatito not only interpret the work of great Latin composers, but also create their own greatness. These musicians play straight from their hearts, gleaning every nuance out of the notes they play as well as, milking the strings and keys of their respective instruments for vibrant emotions, everything from the playfulness of Libertango to the sobs of Adios Nonino (a song Piazzolla wrote for his late father), to the love that pours from Guerra's ballad. And despite the ocean that stands between Spain and New York, Spain Again bridges the gap and sends its listeners hearts, on both shores, reeling." World Music Central
"Having recorded a solo piano album, a full-orchestra rendition of “Rhapsody in Blue,” and several of the most powerful Latin jazz albums ever made, Michel Camilo again proves that his pianistic mastery transcends genres. This disc is a sequel to the 2000 release Spain and reunites Michel with virtuosic flamenco guitarist Tomatito. Their collective charisma is magical and their culture-jumping duets are beautifully engaging. Among other gems, the final track, the pop-tinged “Amor de Conuco,” is now one of my all-time favorite songs. Highly recommended." Keyboard
"Michel Camilo, the New York-based, Dominican-born pianist, and Tomatito, the Spanish flamenco guitarist, recorded a well-received duets album called Spain in 2000, and this sequel is intended to take the collaboration to the next level. Spain Again does. It's a bravura performance that pushes both men into strange and satisfying new territories and spotlights the abilities of each to find places where they are mutually comfortable and inspired. As on the first pairing, the musicianship is flawless throughout, the two virtuosos dancing around each other's melodies, creating fascinating, harmonious bridges, building upon and toying with structural ideas beyond what each composition calls for. Camilo's complex jazz piano inventions suddenly give way to Tomatito's spellbinding acoustic guitar runs; the two meet someplace in the middle, enjoy the freedom that unfettered exploration allows, and emerge with new entities that only an alliance of equals can bring about." Jeff Tamarkin, All Music Guide
+ Rhapsody in Blue reviews...
“For his latest Telarc recording, Camilo pays homage to the renowned composer with Rhapsody in Blue, a grand jazz-meets-classical album of Gershwin music performed with the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Ernest Martinez Izquierdo…While Camilo plays 'the ink' of Gershwin's scores, he embellishes the works with grooves and accents.” Billboard
"Camilo is a strong enough pianist to perform the work with all of the technical skills required. But his sense as a jazz pianist gives the work the accent it needs. He also gets great support from the Barcelona Symphony Orchestra on that piece and Gershwin's Concerto in F. Those musicians seem to understand the jazz flavor of the works well, too. The best part of the album, however, might be the improvised middle section Camilo gives the solo Prelude No. 2. That helps him rival some of the best performances of the work." Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
"Now comes Michel Camilo, an actual jazz pianist with classical training in his back pocket, who plays the solo parts with fearsome virtuosity and a free, spontaneous approach to rhythm, dynamics and timbre. Guess what? An electricity runs through his performances that's rare to hear in this music--in fact, in the ultimate classical accomplishment, Camilo makes you think back to how these works must have sounded in their first performances, with Gershwin himself scandalizing the bluebloods by laying down the blues with the ultimate European art-music band backing him up. With a bonus solo track of Gershwin's "Prelude No. 2," spirited accompaniment by the Barcelona Symphony under Ernest Martinez Izquierdo and typically superb Telarc sound, Camilo's readings of these works should be a first choice for classical and jazz fans alike." Jazz Times
“Dominican powerhouse pianist Michel Camilo and Spain's Barcelona Symphony Orchestra have created a reading of Gershwin that is bold, tender, powerful and sentimental all at once ---- in other words, unmistakably American! Camilo's grounding in the jazz idiom is what makes this work so well. His piano playing shades the theme, rediscovers it with a freshness and vitality that remind us why this piece has been recorded and performed so many times since Gershwin wrote it in 1924.” North County Times (San Diego)
“Camilo has the chops to clamlessly execute the piano part….And there are moments when his pedigree becomes evident...” Downbeat
+ Solo reviews...
“The aptly titled disc is a moving, lyrical collection of unaccompanied originals, Brazil-based tunes and such jazz standards as Monk’s ‘’Round Midnight’ (a tango-tinged interpretation) and George Gershwin’s classic ‘Someone to Watch Over Me’ (performed with straight-up sincerity). Instead of crafting an album teeming with rousing leaps, Camilo eases into a low-lit mood with quiet reflections, dreamy musings and heartfelt romancing. A highlight is Antonio Carlos Jobim's ‘Luiza,’ rendered as a gorgeous love song with tenderly tumbling runs.” Billboard
“Camilo's stark new album, ''Solo," is so good it almost makes us forget that the lite-jazz combo Manhattan Transfer had a huge hit with his song ''Why Not?" Well, almost.” The Boston Globe
"Camilo spent a long time planning his first solo piano album, and it’s easy to see why. There’s an exquisite sense of symmetry to be found in this collection of 12 tunes that’s one third pure Brazilian velvet, one third pungent jazz standards and one third Camilo originals that pay tribute to his Caribbean roots. An inventive improviser, the Dominican-born pianist turns a guajira upside down on the moody "Reflections" and reinvents "’Round Midnight" as a vigorous, tango-like concoction. His playing is alternately fluttery and meditative, but peerless throughout. New York Post
"Camilo’s prowess on piano can be breathtaking. He’s able to range across the entire keyboard smoothly, constantly injecting striking ideas or surprising lines yet always make every solo flow and astonish. Not every pianist can keep things varied and interesting over an hour-long solo date, but Michel Camilo’s music is so enthralling that you actually feel disappointed when “Suntan” wraps the set." Nashville City Paper
“O's Notes: This is a peaceful, solo piano recording. The pace is relaxed and tones are gentle but with accents for emphasis. The music program combines jazz standards, Brazilian jazz classics and some of Camilo's own work. It is an engaging set. That will sooth the mind of the listener.” O’s Place Jazz Newsletter
+ Live at the Blue Note reviews...
“Michel Camilo is a smart, get-to-the-point pianist. His trio on Live at the Blue Note is a crack unit that knows where it’s going even as it intimates a sense of longing to bust out. From the opening lines of the New Orleans-inspired cakewalkin’ Cocowalk to Camilo’s perky On Fire, this is a Latin jazz trio that cooks and coos.” Downbeat
“Camilo burns on both inventive covers (the medley Happy Birthday/Blue Bossa) and originals like the featured See You Later - a piece commissioned by and first performed at the 2002 San Francisco Jazz Festival." Jazziz
“Live at the Blue Note offers more than enough to satisfy fans of el ritmo.” JazzTimes
"The Latin-jazz pianist is a force to be reckoned with, and his trio is among the best. This two-disc is a blast, full of blistering attacks and elegant phrases. Rather than recycle what he's already recorded, Camilo puts forth a load of new material here." The Boston Globe
"The excitement was contagious at New York’s Blue Note during Michel Camilo’s March 18-23 engagement.." ~Ira Gitler, Downbeat
“A powerhouse set of performances, this 2 CD set highlights the genius of this remarkable pianist.” Lee Prosser, JazzReview
“For those unaware of Camilo’s virtuosity and compositional skill both as a classical and jazz pianist, this set provides a great introduction to the depth and breadth of his astounding capacity." AllAboutJazz
“This is serious stuff from the composition to the execution.” Variety
“This is beautiful melodic music, passionate, pensive, fiery and rhythmically satisfying all at the same time. AWESOME." Sounds of Timeless Jazz
“Camilo dazzles with lightning two-handed runs whose braided complexity makes you giddy. He coaxes a shimmering liquid coolness out of the piano and he can caress it so sweetly that the audience stays hushed at tune’s end.” Offbeat