Scott Martin's eleven years with Poncho Sanchez have proven fruitful. The saxophonist's debut as leader features a delectable Latin jazz concoction worthy of a veteran’s ear. In fact, conguero Sanchez sits in to hold court.
The Martin brothers (Scott, Andy & Stan) have all performed and recorded with Sanchez at different times. This time out, they’re all together and enjoying it. The album features hot guitar jams, wall-to-wall Latin percussion, horns that flow from the same well, and a featured saxophone soloist who specializes in lyrical magic.
Willie Bobo’s “Fried Neckbones and Some Home Fries” starts the session with a bang, recalling the days when local conguero masters would ”battle” each other in public on Sunday afternoons in the park. Latin percussion brings an overt athleticism to the music that accompanies what’s already hot on the inside. Martin soars evenly with tenor saxophone over most selections, adding his other woodwind specialties in places. An exciting piccolo solo follows his baritone sax melodies on “Ojo de Rojo.” Later, Jimmy Van Heusen’s “Imagine” is interpreted on soprano with caresses all around.
Martin's impressive debut makes a big Latin jazz splash and leaves the promise of more to come from this dedicated lover of good music.