How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
The San Francisco Bay Area is known for many things one of which is, as a hot bed of Latin Jazz music that captured the interest of percussionist Brian Andres upon relocating there in 1999. Now a veteran of the genre and band leader of the Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel, Andres and the group tip their hat to the Area's Latin cultural ambiance with a tribute album simply titled San Francisco. The band's second album and follow up to their glowing debut Drummer's Speak (CD Baby, 2007), if there's any question as to whether this is a Latin jazz recording that pays homage to San Francisco, just sample the album's third piece "San Francisco Tiene Su Propio Son" and you will be convinced.
The percussive and gyrating "Soul Provider" featuring the leader on percussion, as well as saxophonist Tony Peebles
on a trumpet solo, a host of other players chanting and clapping, provides the clave, timbre and soul of the music. Conga master Javier Cabanillas displays his prowess on the instrument with a solo performance on yet another San Francisco tribute piece, "De San Francisco A Tijuana." The other solo track on the album is the finale "Bongo Reyoyo" where Carlos Caro
doing the solos, clearly stands out as one of the best. Of course no real Latin-tinged album would be complete without at least one soft vocal spot and in this case, that would be the tune "Una Gota" warmly voiced by vocalist Gloria Amaral. There are a few uncommon standards here of which Joe Zawinul
Hefty percussion has always served as the meaty side of Latin music and with this San Francisco tribute album, drummer Brian Andres and his Afro-Cuban Jazz Cartel provide the beat, the brains and the brawn of this percussive-flavored big band Latin jazz experience.
Track Listing: Sand Castles; Nothing But Trouble; San Francisco Tiene Su Propio Son; Black Market; Higashi Nakano; Soul Provider; De San Francisco A Tijuana; Bugs On A Windshield; Una Gota; Off The Cuff; Como Mi Ritmo No Hay Dos; Bongo Reyoyo.
Personnel: Brian Andres: drums, percussion; Christian Tumalan: piano; Aaron Germain: bass; Tony Peebles: saxophones; Jamie Dubberly: trombone; Steffen Kuehn: trumpet; Carlos Caro: bongo, campana, quiro, conga (4), timbal (1, 2, 5, 6, 8); Gloria Amaral: vocals (9); Camilo Landau: tres (3); Patricio Angulo: chekere, conga (1, 2, 6), timbal (3, 4, 11); Javier Cabanillas: conga; Niki Smith: coro; Braulia Barrera: vocals, coro (3, 11); Henry Hung: flugelhorn, trumpet.