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San Francisco's Los Mocosos is one of the West Coast's Hispanic hybrid musical groups liable to mix an assortment of musical styles into its formula. Unlike, say, Steve Coleman's attempts at mingling Afro-Cuban music with jazzwhich yielded superimposed musical elements, rather than a unified wholethis group can and does mix seemingly disparate musical genres and styles, thus creating its own musical character in the process. American Us is its third release and by far the mellowest and most radio-friendly. Of necessity, however, that ought not to frighten actual or potential listeners away.
Los Mocosos' musical lure encompasses combinations such as doo-wop-skassified-reggae-rapas on "Hey Mama. "Volvieron is a simple, steady, tasty, and youthful self-promoting cha featuring sax, keyboards, and timbales soli with a keyboard figure at the end that sounds inspired by Ray Barretto's "Cocinando from his landmark salsa album ¡Qué viva la música! Miami Beach's gay club scene could very well serve as backdrop for a video clip of "Amigos y Amantes because of its vocal themea paean to forbidden loveand its "freely-shake-your-firm-'n-round-ass beat and effects. The corny merengue opener, however, is a throwaway cut.
Party-fun 'n' games ain't all Los Mocosos are about. They have always expressed their particular opinions on social and political matters such as immigration, the North American political landscape, and racism. This time, "Genius and "Señor Presidente are cases in point. The former is a contagious, steady-beat, funky, cumbia-esque, mid-tempo exhortation to use one's reasoning capacitiesit's laden with very good intentions, but the arguments offer little substance. For example, they preserve the false notions that we only use a portion of our brainakin to the infamously groundless 10% brain use figureand that materially successful people aren't necessarily smart, while chipping in the clichéd Latin American anti-intellectualism. On the other hand, however, they urge: "let's not use that excuse ... The latter comes across as a predictably Marxist so-called class struggle anti-Bush call to the stereotypical "Brown people revolution against those in power, also couched in a cumbia-rhythmic backbeat.
Funky, rockish, and percussive, with characteristically youthful, attractive horn riffs: this is Los Mocosos ...
Track Listing: 1. Bandolera Era (J.M. Mart?-nez & G. Ramos) 2. Hey Mama (J.M. Mart?-nez, S. Carter & U. Castro) 3. Vete/El Largo Adiós (J.M. Mart?-nez, G. Ramos, G. Sandino & S. Carter) 4. I'm Your Puppet (L. Oldham & Don Pennington) 5. Amigos y Amantes (J.M. Mart?-nez & G. Ramos) 6. Genius (J.M. Mart?-nez & G. Sandino) 7. Señor Presidente (J.M. Mart?-nez) 8. In the House (J.M. Mart?-nez & G. Ramos) 9. Volvieron (S. Carter & J.M. Mart?-nez) 10. The Beast (S. Carter, J.M. Mart?-nez & G. Ramos) 11. Bacalao (J.M. Mart?-nez & G. Ramos) 12. Blind Faith (G. Sandino, J.M. Mart?-nez, G. Ramos & S. Carter
I love jazz because it mixes intellect and emotion in a very spontaneous way.
I was first exposed to jazz by liberating a Coltrane and a Pharoah Sanders record from a friend in NYC and listening to them over and over until I got it.
My advice to new listeners is you have to take the time to listen to some jazz tunes a number of times until it starts to make sense.