HENRY COLE Twenty eight year old drummer Henry Cole emerged onto the music scene in old San Juan in 1999 where he studied classical percussion at the Conservatorio de Musica de Puerto Rico. However, it was not until a few years later--while attending the Berklee College of Music in Boston-- that Cole’s musical evolution pointed him naturally towards the jazz tradition. He went back home with a new energy and focus and performed as the “house drummer” for the 1st Annual “Jazzboriken” Festival in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He played with such Latin jazz luminaries as Giovanni Hidalgo, Bobby Valentin, Anthony Carrillo, Dave Valentin, Paoli Mejias, currently he is a drummer of Miguel Zenón, David Sanchez , 90 Miles and Cuban pianist Alfredo Rodriguez .
Crazy With Joy:
Henry Cole & the Afro-Beat Collective Find An Age-Old Mestizo Heart and Fresh Jazz Flash
in Afrobeat on Roots Before Branches
Puerto Rican drummer Henry Cole takes Fela Kuti’s Afro Beat to the new millennium by combining the rootsy sounds of Boricua bomba and plena, Cuban rumba, and the urban energy of hip hop and rock with Lagos’ contagious dance beat. Recorded in Puerto Rico and New York City, this CD features a cast of luminary jazzistas such as reedmen David Sánchez, Miguel Zenón and John Ellis, and salseros like Piro Rodríguez and Cheito Quiñones, plus the raw-edge guitar work of Adam Rogers, among many others. Cole delivers a fresh and funky vision of everything rhythmic via evocative melodies, while pouring his heart and soul into each track. The recording is further enhanced by the delivery of spoken word and rap poetry (en español) by Hemes Ayala (who rocks the mic on the selection “Trabájala”) and Mara Pastor. But it was the groove of the organ-powered “Solo dos veces” that made me a believer. Cole lays down a tasty Afro-funk beat with a keen organic sense of timing and melody that demonstrates his dominion of the percussion idiom. “In the end, all the tracks come together in the spirit of play, like the upbeat jam session of “Old San Juan,” thus ‘capturing the sheer delight of making music that grooves, according to Cole’s own words. Other favorites include the tracks “No Eres Tú, Soy Yo”, and “Una Para Isabel”.