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.


Tags

comments powered by Disqus

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

More Articles

Read The Study of Touch CD/LP/Track Review The Study of Touch
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2017
Read Another North CD/LP/Track Review Another North
by Roger Farbey
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Gledalec CD/LP/Track Review Gledalec
by John Sharpe
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Flux Reflux CD/LP/Track Review Flux Reflux
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Christmas With Champian CD/LP/Track Review Christmas With Champian
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: October 19, 2017
Read Harmony of Difference CD/LP/Track Review Harmony of Difference
by Phil Barnes
Published: October 18, 2017
Read "Tangents" CD/LP/Track Review Tangents
by Karl Ackermann
Published: August 28, 2017
Read "Peace" CD/LP/Track Review Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: January 18, 2017
Read "Layers" CD/LP/Track Review Layers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: November 1, 2016
Read "Moments Captured" CD/LP/Track Review Moments Captured
by Andrew Luhn
Published: May 12, 2017
Read "Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio" CD/LP/Track Review Introducing the Simon Eskildsen Trio
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: September 19, 2017
Read "Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis" CD/LP/Track Review Interlude: Atticus Live!-The Music of Jesse Lewis
by Karl Ackermann
Published: November 29, 2016

Join the staff. Writers Wanted!

Develop a column, write album reviews, cover live shows, or conduct interviews.