"El Eco's Two Worlds is a bit of a smooth Latin stew--the cool tempos of Brazil simmered with the darker tones and more complex rhythms of Argentina and Uraguay.
El Eco is led by drummer Guillermo Nojechowicz, and the generously-sized group also featues trumpeter Claudio Roditi...and saxophonist Dino Govoni...
This record presents samba beats, bossa nova grooves, the occasional popping modernistic electric bass lines (a la Marcus Miller), and enough churning Latin percussion to get you up out of the chair to shimmy into the Southern Hemisphere snake hips.
Drummer/leader Nojochowicz is Argentine-born, but Boston bred--having lived in Beantown for twenty-plus years. He reworks the diverse Latin song-scapes, bringing in a hue of the blues, a bit of the bop. Tight arrangements, beautiful soling by Roditi and Govoni as well as pianist Helio Alves, and some cool, lovely, fluid vocals by Kim Nasarian, especially on 'Cafe Opiniano' and 'Chacarera de Paloma.'
A polished effort, beautifully arranged and produced. Hard to believe it's a debut release."
- All About Jazz.com
"What impressed me immediately about the group El Eco led by composer/drummer Guillermo Nojechowicz is its vigor and harmonic approaches to jazz motifs that incorporate Latin, Brazilian, and Cuban jazz themes. This group is totally in sync, and the solo work is incredibly good and solid. As group, well, to put it simply, they don't come much better than this one.
...flawless performances...(a) creative group...great...
...Helio Alves gives some exciting piano solo performances, and Romero Lubambo shows how truly fine Latin themes sound in the hands of a master guitarist with feeling and insight. Every musician on this CD is in top form, and the trumpet and flugelhorn work of Claudio Roditi is excellent.
For different reasons, I enjoyed every song in TWO WORLDS. Each song reflects a mood that is imaginative and unique, and carries the listening audience along with its enchantments of sound.
TWO WORLDS is the special type of CD that just gets better to the ears each time it is played, wherever you happen to be! The jazz motifs are perfectly suited to the group and their performances are among the finest Latin music available this year. Don't miss the vocals of Kim Nazarian, for she has a special voice that touches the audience with its sensitivity. TWO WORLDS is a nice CD collection of Latin jazz, to be given as a gift, or to play while making love.
Nice & easy, a perfect collection that will enchant its listeners. Highly recommended."
"...a persuasive package...warm and lustrous tones with plenty of space for the listener's thoughts...big bass, vibrant percussion, and a large dose of South American DNA mixed with the blues and bop that circulate in our air.
The cultural complexity, following a long jazz tradition, enliven this set. Nojechowicz plays with decrescendo nicely, making music that ebbs and flows like the body's rhythms.
...trumpeter Claudio Roditi and guitarist Rumero Lubambo make cameos...it sure goes down sweetly..."
- Philadelphia Inquirer
"...El Eco lays claim to an exotic form of Latin Jazz that...reaches across both Americas and collects the best musical aspects from each. Led by Argentine drummer Guillermo Nojechowicz, this sextet interprets his compositions and explores Pan-American cultural diversity. Ceremonial drums, rustic accordian and a palette of percussion sounds blend with contemporary timbres and highly effective vocals. Standouts Helio Alves, Claudio Roditi, Dino Govoni and John Allmark ensure that the session remains lyrical and animated. Nojechowicz, a tasteful drummer and innovative percussionist, propels the ensemble with gentle authority. His leadership makes it work. With its globetrotting umbrella program..., El Eco combines the music of various cultures into one big melting pot, without losing sight of their traditionally unique histories...
With his solid ensemble and collection of world class guests such as Cafe', Guillermo Nojechowicz brings them together to make one fine recording replete with Cuban, Afro-Cuban, Bossa Nova, Samba and various funk grooves...
'Partido Final,' a joyously bright number and my favorite on the disc, has a downright catchy melody and a great solo from (the) saxophonist. 'Time Lost' is a charming Bossa featuring the sinuous guitar of Romero Lumbabo, and his relaxed, well-developed solo is a real pleasure. 'Cafe' Opiniao' is a lively remembrance of a place in Rio De Janeiro where musicians used to gather and play, and the groove bounces and struts hard. Compositionally speaking, the tunes here, all originals, are solid..."
"With moods both bright and dark, and melodies and rhythms from Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina, 'Two Worlds' makes a sophisticated mix of sambas, tangos and Afro-Cuban rhythms sound uncluttered and compelling."
- Boston Herald
"This album is loaded with talent that's familiar to aficionados of Latin and Brazilian improvisation music...Nojechowicz and his ensemble display natural ease while melding these disparate yet complementary styles into one charming program that flows naturally from one number to the next. The high quotient of both jazz and Latin American rhythms, performed with warmth and deep understanding, makes 'Two Worlds' uncommonly attractive."
"For many people, Latin music means tango and bossa nova with perhaps a bit of salsa thrown in. But there is a whole other world of distinct music styles and rhythms in Latin America. Nojechowicz explores many of them in his compositions on this excellent release, on which he wrote all the tunes except one. He especially utilizes the complex dance rhythms of Argentina and Uruguay, along with the more lifting sound of Brazil which he credits as a mayor musical influence. You can hear echoes of the dark sound of Piazolla as he sometimes weaves in and out of different rhythms in the same piece. All this is overlayed with the influence of his long residence in the US. His band, El Eco, has long been active in the jazz circuit and the thriving latin jazz scene in the northeast. Their playing on this CD is tight and assured. This is true world music at its best."
- Kansai Time Out / Japan
"One reason that Boston has become a primary home for Latin jazz is the presence of El Eco, a breeding ground for the genre's best young artists for more than a decade."
- Bob Blumenthal