177

Latin X-posure:

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
The first release for J Curve Sabroso features a tight big band patterned after that of Tito Puente. The lyrics are all in Spanish, but the informative liner notes explain which are boleros, which are merengue, which are salsa and which are Latin jazz. With an effective percussion section that plays crisp and light, role players perform these charts with conspicuously excellent musicianship. The lead singers, all female, provide romantic, sensual, whispered thoughts.

"Smokin’ in Havana" should be all about emotional fire and complex rhythms. Instead, it wanders with smooth instrumental solos and a tied-down, routine arrangement. Several numbers provide entertaining pop-flavored romance with lead singers, light backgrounds and echoes of the traditional. Gary Winters’ hot trumpet solo on "Yo Soy La Voz" follows a mariachi opening and brings in a zestful breath of fresh air. Patrick Kelly’s creative piano solo and Rick VanMatre’s artful flute solo on "La Ofrenda" point to the way mainstream jazz can be successfully interwoven with traditional Latin dance music. The Beatles’ "Ob La Dee, Ob La Da" changes the pace with an unusual pairing of polka with merengue, for a festive affair. "Cubanita" features two inspired trumpet soloists over a tight arrangement. Latin X-posure covers a lot of territory and does it with perfection. The pieces fit together extremely well. But that’s the problem. Every arrangement relies on tight, rehearsed precision and excellent musicianship. Absent is the emotional push that should go along with hot solo work or true romantic spirit. Like Tito Puente’s band, Latin X-posure performs with variety and class. However, to be convincing, they’ll have to plan their next release with more soul.

Personnel: Maribel Andrade, Maria Alvarez, Laura Toscaris, Lillian Valdes- vocals; Gary Winters, Brian Schwab- trumpet; Clarence Pawn- trombone; Joe Gaudio- alto saxophone, baritone saxophone; Michael Sharfe- electric bass; Patrick Kelly- piano, background vocals; Miguel Maldonado- timbales, guiro; Victor Velez- congas; Chris Velez- bongos, campana.

| Record Label: J Curve Records | Style: Latin/World


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
  • by Jim Santella
Read more articles

More Articles

Read June CD/LP/Track Review June
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Final Concert CD/LP/Track Review The Final Concert
by John Sharpe
Published: February 19, 2017
Read Desire & Freedom CD/LP/Track Review Desire & Freedom
by Glenn Astarita
Published: February 19, 2017
Read On Hollywood Boulevard CD/LP/Track Review On Hollywood Boulevard
by Budd Kopman
Published: February 19, 2017
Read The Motorman's Son CD/LP/Track Review The Motorman's Son
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 18, 2017
Read "Subtle Energy" CD/LP/Track Review Subtle Energy
by Geannine Reid
Published: October 13, 2016
Read "Friday Night in San Francisco" CD/LP/Track Review Friday Night in San Francisco
by Sacha O'Grady
Published: September 4, 2016
Read "Evergreen (Canceled World)" CD/LP/Track Review Evergreen (Canceled World)
by Dave Wayne
Published: January 4, 2017
Read "Jim Crow's Tears" CD/LP/Track Review Jim Crow's Tears
by James Nadal
Published: November 10, 2016
Read "Quartet 1991" CD/LP/Track Review Quartet 1991
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: April 9, 2016
Read "Right Where I Need to Be" CD/LP/Track Review Right Where I Need to Be
by Jim Olin
Published: June 6, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Buy it!