How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Snowboy, who has recorded nine albums with his band The Latin Section, combines an acid jazz texture with traditional Afro-Cuban chants and rhythms. Using a basic call & response format atop lively rhythms, the leader colors his performance with Fender Rhodes and Hammond Organ timbres. The result is a hot dance affair that’s anchored by Snowboy’s congas and remains within the tradition.
Which tradition? Snowboy fuses several. Centuries-old chants and rhythms provide a link to the music’s earliest roots. The conguero works alongside timbales, bongos, added percussion and thundering bass to create mesmerizing rhythms that get you dancing in your seat. Snowboy’s horn trio offers beautiful melodies and creative improvisation from the mainstream of jazz, while Neil Angilley’s two distinctive keyboard instruments open a window to one specific period in jazz’s history. Weaving a common thread through each of these different traditions is the mambo dance that dares you to keep still.
The leader’s crisp conga drumming serves both as a forceful driver for the ensemble and as a solid foundation for creative experimentation. Hot solos come from all directions, particularly from trumpeter Sid Gauld and tenor saxophonist Gary Plumley. Recommended, Afro-Cuban Jazz represents an exciting session intended both for experienced dancers and interested listeners.
Track Listing: Oya Ye Ye; Aguacero; Interlude; El Campeon del Mambo; Blues para T; Straight from the Gate; Ofrenda; Descarga Angixi.
Personnel: Snowboy- congas; Davide Giovannini- drums, timbales, vocals; Nico Gomez- bass; Dave Pattman- bongos, cowbell, cajon, iya, quinto; Neil Angilley- Fender Rhodes, Hammond Organ; Sid Gauld- trumpet; Gary Plumley- tenor saxophone; Paul Taylor- trombone.