Cuban-born drummer-composer Dafnis Priesto has plied his impressive polyrhythmic skills primarily in small group settings. On this ambitious project, the multi-directional force of nature directs a dynamic 17-piece ensemble from behind the kit with typical power and precision while showcasing a bevy of killer NYC soloists. Prieto dedicates each of his nine exhilarating compositions to important mentors and inspirations throughout his career. The group comes out smoking on the churning clave-fueled descarga “Una Vez Mas,” which has trumpeter Lynch stretching into the stratosphere over pianist Manuel Valera’s insistent comping and against a percolating Afro-Carribean undercurrent from Venezuelan percussionist Roberto Quintero. The alluring spell of the lush title track is broken by a pungent, bracing solo from Threadgill. Coleman lends his angular alto work to the intoxicating clave-fueled Chico O’Farrill tribute, “Song for Chico.” Priesto turns in a dazzling solo on “Two for One,” dedicated to drumming legend Buddy Rich. Beneath all the whirlwind, fugue-like complexity, Back to the Sunset remains grounded by the leader’s commanding, unerring pulse. Prieto’s great triumph is a richly rewarding journey.