Luis Conte: En Casa De Luis (2011)
Conte frequently works in the cracks or crevices of a song, but this music places him front and center. His creativity, virtuosity, and musical flexibility come to the forefront as he uses dozens of different instruments to achieve his artistic vision. A jam-like vibe surrounds certain performances ("En Casa De Luis" and "El Rumbero Mas Chevere"), while others have a more polished outlook, but Conte also sculpts songs that have a worldly visage. A pan-global, tropical flavored number that gives Conte a chance to cover the whole instrumental gamut, including bass, accordion, congas, and keyboards ("Conga Melody"), and the African-leaning "Eden" are two notable examples.
Stylistic continuity is ultimately less of a concern to Conte than the art of creation, whether spontaneous or premeditated, with family and friends. The Conte clan joins the leader, adding ambience to the album opener and hand claps to "Conga Melody," pianist Larry Goldings makes an appearance on his own breezy "Dance Of The Firefly," trumpeter Walt Fowler adds his own inimitable horn work to the proceedings, and bassist Jimmy Johnson makes a few appearances throughout the album. While an ever-changing cast of characters helps Conte out, guitarist Barry Coates proves to be the most important of them all. His ability to color the music and shape the overall sound of each song makes him an indispensable entity on this outing.
While Conte's own music isn't likely to garner the same size audience as that of his many high-visibility employers, that's irrelevant. En Casa De Luis lives and breathes with the uncontainable passion and curiosity of a percussion legend doing what he does best, and that's all that matters.
Track Listing: En Casa De Luis; The Last Resort; El Rumbero Mas Chevere; Water Pots; Sticks And Stones; Fever; Conga Melody; Eden; Dance Of The Firefly; There's Only Love; Mi China.
Personnel: Luis Conte: vocals, congas, timbales, shakers, guiro, cajon, quinto, cowbells, claves, shekere, African water pots, bottle caps, darbuka, finger cymbals, qraqab, Zildjian cymbal pans, cymbals, water effects, toys, bongos, bomba, bass, accordion, keyboards, synthesizers, pandeiros, triangles, stainless salad bowls, balafon, caxixi, batajons, surdo, pods, cajita, contemporanea pandeiro tree, maracas, Roland hpd 10, illa bata, belly dance valkyrie belt, tar, chat chat, rack tom, sabar, djembe; Walt Fowler: trumpet (2, 3, 5, 10), flugelhorn (2, 10); Jimmy Johnson: bass (2, 5, 9, 10); Barry Coates:guitar synth (2, 4, 5, 10) guitar (2, 4-6, 8-10), ukelele (7); Daniel Willy: vocals, surdo, shakers, congas, timbales, rockar, pods, floor tom; Larry Goldings: piano (9); Pete Korpela: cajon (3), shekere (3); Hector Crisantes: vocals (3); Steve Campbell: vocals (1); Lindsay Rust: vocals (1); Lupe Conte: handclaps (7); Louie Conte: hanclaps (7); Carina Conte: handclaps (7).
Record Label: BFM