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Mike Arroyo: Press

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sábado, 20 de mayo de 2006

"The christian jazz Night"
Utilizando su guitarra, Mike Arroyo alabó a Dios en un concierto de jazz cristiano realizado el año pasado en Puerto Rico.

Ahora, esa presentación musical se encuentra en DVD para el deleite de los fanáticos de esta música y para los cristianos. Unos doce temas instrumentales, interpretados en vivo son parte de esta colección del nominado a un premio "Paoli" por la categoría de música cristiana instrumental.

Junto a la guitarra de Mike Arroyo está el piano de Ángel David Mattos, Leobadis González y Luis Sánchez en los tambores, la conga de Robert Cancel y Many Arroyo, y John Benítez en el bajo.

El último tema del repertorio es "Soñando con Puerto Rico" en homenaje a Bobby Capó.

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CD Reviews: Mike Arroyo, “My Jazzy Mood” Posted by: adminon Thursday, October 26, 2006 - 01:23 PM

By: Edward Blanco

Young Puerto Rico-born jazz guitarist, Mike Arroyo bills himself as a “Christian Jazz Musician” and with compositions entitled “Worship Tune,” “Jammin in Heaven” and “What a Friend I have in Jesus,” one would expect a Gospel-like religious overtone to My Jazzy Mood that frankly, I was not looking forwards to hearing. I’m no fan of Christian music so I did not expect much. Lord, was I wrong in judging this book by its holy cover. The music is not religious just very spirited, jazzy and impressive. Originally recorded in 2003 and only now released, the album contains eight terrific charts of smooth, Latin and straight ahead contemporary jazz.

Arroyo is accompanied by a ten-piece band that includes your typical rhythm section plus a saxophonist, vibraphonist and a percussionist to help spice up the sound. The result is one very good session of jazz that deserves to be heard and appreciated. The program kicks off with a very entertaining piece of smooth jazz with the light “Florecitas” that showcase the talents of the leader on guitar. “Initial Flight” is one of the two best cuts on this disc, essentially a hip-moving Latin Jazz burner with heavy percussions. There are two funky tunes in his “Worship Tune” and “Jammin in Heaven.” Providing major solo space for Arroyo, “What a Friend I Have in Jesus” is a slow soft and mellow melody.
My favorite track here has to be the appropriately titled “Perfect Mood” grooving to a catchy rhythm containing excellent solo performances by Dominic Lali (tenor), Christos Rafalidez (vibes) and the leader.

I found that My Jazzy Mood was not so much a religious experience as an unexpected musical treat. The album sparkles with fine charts, excellent performances by Arroyo and ensemble delivering an exciting set of jazz worthy of worship.
My Jazzy Mood
Mike Arroyo | Self Published (2006)
By Jim Santella comments print email license

Smooth jazz guitarist Mike Arroyo recorded these sessions several years ago in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Brooklyn, New York. His guitar takes us on a tour of traditional tunes, a few spiritual excursions, and plenty of Latin jazz textures to complement the scene.

Arroyo prefers a gentle touch and a fluid technique that allows him to enunciate melodies simply and plainly. Electric bass, drums, a distant piano and catch-all congas complement the sound. Solo work comes from piano, tenor saxophone, vibraphone, and Arroyo’s guitar, which he uses to emphasize straightforward melodies.

Pianist Jason Lindner brings a heartfelt gospel solo to “Mira a Cielo,” which Arroyo uses to explore the improvisatory qualities of jazz. He, Lindner, bassist John Benitez and drummer Gene Jackson light sparks in the night through their extensive soloing on this selection, which is one of the album’s high points.

Arroyo’s slow and meaningful portrayal of “What a Friend I Have in Jesus” presents a mellow homage, while “Perfect Mood” flows with down-home charm. Milly Laracuent’s vocal interpretation of “Florecitas” stands out for its genuine sensuality. While the guitarist’s session pays homage to the Holy Spirit, its emotional impact cools somewhat through interpretation. Arroyo’s smooth jazz allows for beautiful melodic translations, but leaves some of the true feeling on the outside.

Visit Mike Arroyo on the web.

Track listing: Florecitas; Bridge Over Troubled Water; Initial Flight; Vine a Adorar; Mira al Cielo; Oh Que Amigo es Cristo; Perfect Mood; Florecitas.

Personnel: Mike Arroyo: guitar; John Benitez: bass; Alon Yavnai, Jason Lindner: piano; Manuel Valera: keyboard; Steve Hass, Gene Jackson: drums; Richie Flores: congas; Christos Rafalidez: vibraphone; Dominic Lali: tenor saxophone; Milly Laracuent: vocal.

Style: Contemporary/Smooth
Mike Arroyo

My Jazzy Mood

As soon as I saw the album was recorded in Brooklyn, I knew I would not be disappointed. Mr. Arroyo shows himself to be both a team player and a star when needed. In “What a Friend I have in Jesus,” he totally shines with an arrangement that is delicate, yet strong in a jazz styling. In “Florecitas,” he becomes a team player allowing others to take the center while he is enhancing the background. This is a CD for my date collection. Gentle, romantic, jazz. Everything I need for the best night of my life. So why am I here writing this review? Goodnight!

new pop
Reviewer: Michael Mardings
Review by Station 1030 am.Puerto Rico.

Congratulations to our VIP of the day for: 11/8/2006
Mike Arroyo
MIKE ARROYO/Performing Live: Capturing his Christian jazz night, Arroyo and his pals know how to play up a storm and capture their sound just as well live as they do on record. Solidly played material that works well, this young jazzbo is serious about his work and the DVD allows you to see his dedication as opposed to just hear it and draw your own conclusions with your mind. Tasty work that will be rewarded in this world long before he gets to the next.
3 (Mikearroyojazz)

Volume 30/Number 24
December 7, 2006
830 W. Route 22 #144
Lake Zurich, IL., 60047
CHRIS SPECTOR, Editor and Publisher
(c)2006 Midwest Record

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May 30, 2007
Mike Arroyo - My Jazzy Mood

Jazz guitarist, composer and arranger Mike Arroyo hails from Vega Baja, Puerto Rico and is considered to be a pioneer of the Puerto Rican sacred music scene. Mikes first musical production was ‘Straight To Heaven’ in 2001. It used the jazz genre as an avenue to praise the word of God and his follow up ‘My Jazzy Mood’, that was released two years later, found a delightful blend between the sacred and the secular. Recorded in Brooklyn New York ‘My Jazzy Mood’ is now on re-release and, beyond the confines of sacred music, is worthy of some attention.

This point is well proved by the mellow ‘What A Friend I Have In Jesus’ which, despite its sacred title, would play equally well in or out of church. ‘Vine a Adorar’, although another sacred tune is melodic in the extreme and replete with jazzy vibes while ‘Mira al Cielo’ is again ultra jazzy but this time groove driven courtesy of Jason Lidner on piano. ‘Initial Flight’ allows Arroyo to regale his listeners with cool Latin vibes and when he turns to the Simon and Garfunkel classic ‘ Bridge Over Troubled Waters’ he provides a sensitive and picture perfect interpretation.

Among the highpoints of ‘My Jazzy Mood’ are the differing complexions that Arroyo presents with the tune ‘Florecitas’. First, as an instrumental, it’s a welcoming slice of mid tempo smooth jazz then later, with excellent vocals from Milly Laracuent, it becomes a compelling romantic ballad. Another of the albums standouts is ‘Perfect Mood’. This sumptuous and hugely accessible piece of tender smooth jazz sets exactly what the title suggests it should.

For more on Mike Arroyo visit his website at

May 30, 2007 in CD Reviews | Permalink
My Jazzy Mood, Mike Arroyo, guitar. The term elevator jazz came out of the traditions of fusion jazz. Unfortunately, the fusion and edge that developed in the late 1970s and early ‘80s took a boring left hand turn towards milquetoast. This album falls into that unenviable elevator shaft populated by mid-level contemporary jazz artists. Arroyo seems to be trying to be George Benson, and his playing is fine if uninspired, but his tunes sound like something you’d hear while shopping rather than sitting down and listening. Arroyo shows a little spark on more Latin-themed tunes, like “Initial Flight,” which hums along at a nice, spicy clip. And he shows some pretty tonality on “What a Friend I Have in Jesus.” But for the most part, this is about as dully tame as it gets. Mike Arroyo self-produced, 2005; Playing Time: 43:00, *1/2.
Kyle O'Brien - Jazz Society of Oregon (Sep 6, 2007)
"This is a good contemporary jazz cd".
Review by Adam Greenberg
The sacred-jazz genre is generally limited to approximately one composer and one set of compositions: Duke Ellington's Sacred Music. However, there is a small contingent of what's known as sacred jazz, fusing elements of gospel and hymns with instrumental compositions. In the case of guitarist Mike Arroyo, there's also the addition of Latin elements, hearkening from his homeland in Puerto Rico. Here's the catch with sacred jazz however: without the lyrics, the music still has to try to deliver the message. Though a direct comparison to Ellington is unfair, without the use of some of the classic chord progressions from church music at large or even gospel music in the nearer term, Arroyo's sound is really just regular smooth jazz, with a touch of salsa thrown in. The performances are good instrumentally, with nary a note out of place. The compositions aren't the most exciting ones ever written, but smooth jazz at large isn't written for the excitement so much as the overall result. The music is fairly good, but nonetheless, it really doesn't fuse the genres of sacred music and jazz so much as perform smooth jazz with a sacred intention in the background.
Con el estreno de ‘Transition’, su tercera grabación, MIKE ARROYO testimonia su compromiso con la música como su modo de servir a los demás

Por Rafael Vega Curry / (Mike Arroyo presentará la música de ‘Transition’ el próximo 9 de abril en Borders de Plaza Las Américas).
D e un modo u otro, Mike Arroyo siempre se ha dedicado a servir a los demás. Ahora, sin embargo, lo hace con más gusto que nunca antes. Dice sentirse “más yo, más libre”.
Su voz refleja paz. La paz que da el convencimiento de hacer lo que la conciencia dice que hay que hacer.
Trabajó 22 años como ingeniero de campo, dando servicio a la industria biomédica. Su cotidianidad transcurría entre aparatos de pruebas de diagnóstico y otros sistemas de apoyo tecnológico en oficinas médicas, a los que daba mantenimiento. Era un trabajo seguro, con un buen salario.
Hace dos años, sin embargo, lo dejó y se volcó de lleno a lo que le pedía su corazón.
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“Mi papá era pastor y tocaba la guitarra. A los ocho años me regaló la primera. Yo imitaba lo que él hacía. En la iglesia siempre había música”.
En la casa también. La humilde residencia en el barrio Breñas, en Vega Baja, estaba constantemente aderezada por el sonido de la danza, el seis y otros estilos tradicionales puertorriqueños, así como el de los cánticos cristianos. Y por el del cuatro que su hermano tocaba. Pocos años después, y luego de circunstancias que merecerían una historia aparte, el gran tresista Nelson González -quien vivía cerca, allí mismo en Vega Baja- terminó regalándole una espectacular Ovation, especialmente diseñada para la interpretación del jazz.
Continuó sus estudios formales en ingeniería, a la par con los musicales -en la Academia Discípulos de Cristo, en el Conservatorio y otros lugares. Pero la música se le había metido en el alma, de manera decisiva.
Hoy, con el estreno de ‘Transition’, su tercera grabación, Arroyo testimonia su compromiso con la música como su modo de servir a los demás. Sin olvidar, por supuesto, sus labores como pastor en la iglesia Breñas Community Church, donde estableció su propio concepto de trabajo comunitario.
“Nos metimos en el estudio en New Jersey y no escatimamos en calidad. Hicimos pocos ‘takes’ por tema, buscando espontaneidad. Trabajamos con calma. Y el productor Pedrito Bermúdez me ayudó mucho, haciendo los arreglos, buscando los músicos”, dice Arroyo.
El esfuerzo valió la pena. ‘Transition’ es un disco accesible pero inteligente, repleto de buenas vibras. La agradable guitarra de Arroyo -que recuerda a veces la de George Benson, a veces la de Wes Montgomery- se destaca a plenitud, gracias al diáfano sonido de la grabación.
Es también un álbum variado en instrumentación y ritmos, que va desde la salsa instrumental (‘Street Jam’) hasta el pop-jazz (‘Hay una unción aquí’), incluyendo además un delicado y acariciante himno (‘Stay With Us’) y una alegre samba (‘Sambinha da Esperanza’). Los músicos son de primera, y entre ellos se cuentan Rubén Rodríguez en bajo, Iván Renta en saxofones, Chembo Corniel y Jimmy Rivera en percusión, y el “papá” de muchos guitarristas boricuas, Máximo Torres, en la magistral ‘Recuerdos de Humacao’.
Impresionan más, sin embargo, los tres cortes de guitarra sola: ‘God Bless The Child’ (un estándar de jazz que Arroyo dota de una vivacidad y optimismo de los que carecen la mayoría de las versiones anteriores de este tema); ‘Verde luz’ (memorable) y ‘Trust and Obey’. Arroyo debería considerar hacer un disco completo de guitarra sin acompañamiento entre sus proyectos futuros.
Entretanto, se siente satisfecho con lo que ha logrado hasta ahora. “Le doy gracias a Dios porque me permitió sacar este disco. Y también quiero darle gracias porque siempre he tenido trabajo. No es fácil llegar. Empezamos en una iglesia pequeña que hoy tiene numerosos miembros. Y en estos días también cumplo un año trabajando en la capellanía de la Policía. Hacer esas diferentes labores sociales llena más que el dinero. Mi campo es el servicio”.
“A través del disco quiero invitar a la gente a que no se queden estáticos. Uno tiene que hacer la transición a muchas cosas que Dios tiene para uno. A veces uno no lo ve porque no se ha dado la oportunidad”.
“En la vida hay que hacer lo que tu corazón te pide hacer. Y hacerlo ahora, mañana no se sabe si podremos”.
Rafaél "Ragui"Vega Curry - Periódico El Nuevo Día (Mar 29, 2009)
MIKE ARROYO/Transition: Did you listen to us last time when we told you this guitar man had a lot on the ball? If you didn’t, listen up now, we like what we hear. In the two years, since the last record, he’s gotten the call and gone religious, but we don’t hear any less fire in his playing. Still with enough caliente on the ball that you’ll be pleased with the hot licks.
Chris Spector - Midwest Record (May 1, 2009)
Mike Arroyo has returned with Transition (self-released), an album that has him branching out into new musical styles and adding to his alreayd impressive techniques of playing.
This one caters to his Latin side, so the mood overall is soothing, tropical, and sensual when it has to be, as you can hear in “Street Jam” (which sounds as open and as communal as the title suggests) and “His Eye Is On The Sparrow”. As with previous releases, Arroyo also has a spiritual side that he likes to share with his fans and you get to hear that in “The Whisper Of God”, “and God Bless The Child”, the latter of which deserves some airplay on smooth jazz stations. I like this a lot more than the previous album, not sure if it’s because the music and his playing is more spirited or if the music caught me in a good mood, but anyone who needs to find great party music and maybe something to wind an evening down can easily mix this up with any of their personal favorites. Overall, Arroyo’s playing seems a bit more stronger, more comfortable, more like “home”. If he makes more albums like this one and throws in a bit of variety within from time to time, he’ll have a very secure future.