“The ensemble is not quite hard-bop and not quite salsa-they are something more complex and unprecedented, and take sharp turns at times.” Phillip Freeman Downbeat Magazine 2018 (full article)
"...It’s not just the rhythmic potency of Venezuelan music that stands out here; indeed, on a number of the tracks it's Vielma's indebtedness to the wider jazz tradition that is striking."Troy Dostert All About Jazz 2018 (full article)
“…a superb recording with an excellent band, superior compositions and superb soloing.” Ron Weinstock, Jazz and Blues Report 2018 (full article)
"One can’t help but marvel how magically effective this is especially as the horns constantly have to be mixed in with the dry and sharp, stabbing aural palette of Mr. Vielma’s Venezuelan percussion – another reason why this is not just another Latin-Jazz album of songs, but true to its title, a whole new set of Tendencias.” – Raul Da Gama, Latin Jazz Network 2018 (full article)
“Latin jazz of excellent quality: interesting arrangements, inspired and voluble soloists. We can listen without hesitation!" -Tierry Giard, Culture Jazz Magazine 2018
“A Venezuelan percussionist that knows how to serve up smoking originals and find lots of the best Latin jazz cats in New York... Killer stuff throughout.” - Chris Spector, Midwest Records 2018
“In the spirit of Tito Puente, Eddie Palmieri, Machito, Cachao, Mario Bauzá, Chano Pozo, and Cándido Camero, drummer/composer Fran Vielma joins this lineage alongside such innovators as Danilo Pérez, Paquito D’Rivera, Dafnis Prieto, Giovanni Hidalgo, Pedrito Martínez…Further, Fran builds on this tradition by composing with folkloric rhythms from his native country, Venezuela... The result is an extremely impressive and contemporary presentation of today’s Latin jazz music.”- Billy Hart
“There are records that are meaningful in the life of an artist, as without a doubt, it is this one by Fran Vielma… In this album, Fran shares all the passion of someone who believes in the music and gets to shape concretely a dream joined by incredible musicians…” - Guillermo Klein
‘Venezuelan Jazz Collective’ is an innovative jazz ensemble that comprises an outstanding cast of world-class musicians from Venezuela and Latin America based in the US. Their awareness of the jazz tradition, concert music, and an upbringing surrounded by the Caribbean and South American genres allow these performers to go from one idiom to the other with masterful spontaneity and musicianship.
Tendencias is the title of the debut album that includes nine original compositions by his leader Fran Vielma and one song by the laureate Venezuelan songwriter Simón Díaz. Vielma arranged these pieces bringing components of hard bop, free jazz, concert music, and showcasing rhythms from his native Venezuela in a contemporary fashion. Every composition references a place, an artist, a remembrance, and pays tribute to the Venezuelan cultists.