Review by Willard Manus

Here’s another feel-good cd. CONVERGENCE is the work of Lunar Octet, a band of multi-talented musicians from the Detroit area whose first album (“Highway Fun”) was released in 1994. Now, twenty-five years later, the band regrouped and, in a burst of joyous celebration and creativity, collaborated on a new album which deserves the highest praise possible.

Featuring fourteen original tunes, CONVERGENCE mixes big-band jazz with Latin and African beats. The resulting mambos, sambas and funk have a distinctive sound, an infectious intensity and beauty.
It’s no wonder that one jazz critic called Lunar Octet “one of the most innovative and dynamic jazz groups ever.”

Lunar Octet’s principal composer is the sax-playing Steve Hiltner. Aron Kaufman (congas, bongos) also composes for the band, as does clarinetist Paul Vornhagen. The other musicians include Brandon Cooper (trumpet), Sam Clark (guitar), Keaton Royer (piano), Jeff Dalton (bass), Jon Krosnick (drums) and Olman Piedra (timbales). Their collective virtuosity makes for memorable listening.