The Rubin Luis Bonilla Quintet
"Bonilla slips, slides and scurries around some mesmerizing patterns from the rhythm section, neatly balancing the cerebral and the down-and dirty.” – Jazz Times
The California raised, Costa Rican trombonist, composer and arranger is one of those rare artists whose work is always expanding, taking in more and more while remaining singular and focused: “Bonilla may be a trombonist used to handling that big long sliding thing, but when it comes to execution of his ideas, he lets nothing slide” -- All About Jazz
Of his first two albums on the Candid label, Pasos Gigantes and iEscucha! (2000) the former made Jazziz's top ten Latin list of 1998. His next album, 2007's Terminal Clarity was a celebration, reflection and aesthetic extension of his years working with Lester Bowie. While retaining the brash harmonic structures of his mentor's work from Brass Fantasy to his earlier and justly famous work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Bonilla adds a "contagious exuberance" (Jazzwise magazine) that is at the heart of his artistic vision. Without in any way diminishing Bowie's audacity, Bonilla manages to balance "the cerebral and the down-and-dirty (Jazz Times), taking "bold steps to merge Latin genres, free jazz and a variety of other influences (Latin Jazz Corner).
A heady mix of swing, rock, free jazz, funk, movie soundtracks, avant-garde noise and ballads, I Talking Now (2009), for all its musical diversity, speaks with one voice. It is a distinctly American vision, a gentle craziness that suggests that every one and every sound can co-exist if we just keep on taking in more and more. Luis Bonilla is moving in directions that are expanding our notions of jazz and leading us into startling new realms with "remarkable creativity and versatility" (Newsday).