Highly acclaimed as a drummer and bandleader, Cuban-born Dafnis Prieto makes his first foray as a lyricist on the aptly named Cantar, a vibrant encounter between his quartet and renowned Brazilian vocalist Luciana Souza. The complex grooves and lines characteristic of Prieto’s writing, steeped in Afro Cuban and modern jazz, are very much there, expertly handled by bassist Matt Brewer, pianist Martin Bejerano, and saxophonist Peter Apfelbaum (doubling on keyboards for added texture). But the presence of Souza, singing in Spanish, English, and Portuguese, reveals a new side of Prieto’s artistic imagination. Co-produced by Larry Klein (of Joni Mitchell fame), Cantar speaks poetically of love in varied shadings, from the tongue-twisting intricacy of “Guajira en Sol” to the balladic elegance of “Sueño de Amor” and “Amanhecer Contigo” (the latter a reworking of the uptempo version from Prieto’s 2020 sextet album, Transparency). “To the Concert” is a muscular band workout with Souza on wordless vocals, while “Guajira en Lu” and “Unknown Man” are fully instrumental, brimming with assertive virtuosity and prog-rock-ish mystery in turn.