“AFRICAN SKIES REVIEWS”
What I love about Ramirez’s drums is how thick and wide-bodied they are without stealing the show. They are ever-present throughout the album but Ramirez never makes the mistake of drowning out everyone else or soloing excessively. Instead, he provides his cohesive hard-bop unit with a meaty, Latin-tinged frame that works wonderfully. This is a perfect album and a must own. Honestly, I could listen to Ramirez play drums all day long.
Marc Myers, jazzwax.com
Assembling a world class band to do his bidding, Jemal Ramirez proves that he is not only a mighty drummer with a punchy, popping style, but his compositions instantly charm, contrasting his Afro Cuban, jazz and funk-laced tunes with excellent cover material. Spin African Skies, troubles fall away, bliss ensues. Five stars.
Ken Micallef, Downbeat, Modern Drummer, Stereophile
Overall, the album has a great sound. A great combination of an acoustic, airy organic jazz sound but still sounding like a modern record.
Brian Andres, San Francisco Bay Area Drummer and Band Leader
Jazz drummer Jemal Ramirez back on the beat, and you should be glad
Andrew Gilbert, San Jose Mercury News
School Teacher/Drummer Jemal Ramirez Knocks it Out of the Park on ‘Pomponio’ Debut [REVIEW]
Mike Greenblatt, Classicalite
Everyone gets a chance in the sun, and it’s bright on this session! Whew!
George W. Harris, jazzweekly.com
On Pomponio, his first solo album, Jemal leads a septet that, with its trumpet-sax frontline, is sometimes a bit reminiscent of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers. However its repertoire is fresh and the band, with its inclusion of Warren Wolf on vibes and marimba and the Latin percussion of John Santos, has its own exciting musical personality.
Scott Yanow, Freelance Jazz Writer and Historian
A killer date throughout, this is where the heat meets the feet.
Chris Spector, Editor and Publisher Midwest Record
Certainly the American drummer Jemal Ramirez is not among the best known names in international jazz. However, this record is one that you listen with pleasure…
Vittorio La Conte, music zoom.com (Review from Italy)
Ramirez is definitely the guiding light and flash of spirit that leads this band and applies just the right amount of sass and virtuosity to inspire excellence.
Dee Dee McNeil, musicalmemoirs.wordpress.com
The first album as a leader for the drummer from Northern California, Jemal Ramirez (r.1974) – this is the start of a new phase of his already quite long way in music.
Leonid Auskern, jazzquad.ru (Review from Russia)
Very solid musicianship and a drummer that sets it all ablaze, this is an album to cherish.
Grady Harp, amazon.com
Debut recording from SF Bay area drummer/educator Jemal Ramirez recruits a septet of polished musicians to cover an unsung dozen of jazz classics.
Ann Porotti, Radio DJ at WTJ
San Francisco hard-bop and Latin-jazz drummer fronts a sextet that has a Bobby Hutcherson feel, thanks to Warren Wolf on vibes.
Marc Myers, jazzwax.com
Jemal Ramirez, drummer, sometimes supplemented on Latin percussion by John Santos, is a busy player. And Ramirez’s sound is high in the mix. But his busyness always comes across as productive — a driver of the high energy characteristic of his band.
Jay Harvey, jayharveyupstage.blogspot.com
Honest, well done, well interpreted this album can be listen to and ensures a true moment of musical enjoyment.
Catherine Codridex, Highlands Magazine (Review from France)