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Poncho Sanchez: Do It!

Jim Santella By

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While the personnel helping to provide the trademark Latin jazz sound of Poncho Sanchez has changed somewhat, the personality of his band and its convincing approach just keeps on getting better. Like fine wine...

Special guests Hugh Masekela and Tower of Power give Do It! a classic funk quality that extends throughout the entire program. Masekela's two soulful vocal numbers lend an earthy quality to the session, while Tower of Power pumps it up with sass and class. Recall from his December 1999 All About Jazz interview that Sanchez likes working out with pioneers such as these who have led the funk and soul domain for many decades. His vocal on "Shotgun Slim" reveals his hearty enthusiasm for soulful storytelling. Sanchez plays and sings from an emotional viewpoint, giving it his all every time out.

Duke Ellington's "African Flower" gives the album a focus that traces the band's sound back almost 25 years to its beginning. Exciting horns announce the piece's classic theme as the rhythm section drives with never-ending momentum. They portray the theme with exotic colors. Soloists David Urquidi, David Torres, and Sanchez step forward with enthusiastic rounds that provide a creative thrill. Together, the band honors the tradition that brought them here: jazz that swings, along with rhythmic pride.

Torres' "Short Dog," a personal favorite, introduces the blues in a convivial atmosphere that rolls out soulfully as if every day were party hearty day. The band's balance of horns and rhythm combines with piano and organ to unleash a feeling of utter confidence. You just want to stand up and strut for a while and hope that those sitting near you feel the same way.

"Tin Tin Deo" features a lovely Spanish vocal theme that allows the band to explore classic Latin jazz through its stellar mambo arrangement. Soloists Javier Vergara and Sanchez give this one a lightning spark that drives with fire.

The session ends with a funky "Together," on which Francisco Torres, David Torres, and Sanchez solo with loose limbs and the spirit of a veteran. Sanchez is a veteran who bares his soul every time out. With Do It!, he's leading the way. Highly recommended for fans of Latin jazz and all other kinds of good music, this one will do it for ya.

Track Listing: Tin Tin Deo; Ha Lese Le Di Khanna; Do It; Squib Cakes; Yo Quisiera; African Flower; Short Dog; Shotgun Slim; The Kyper; Child of the Earth; Together.

Personnel: Poncho Sanchez: congas, bells, guiro, percussion, lead vocals on "Shotgun Slim," "Yo Quisiera" and "Tin Tin Deo;" Sal Vasquez: bongos, bata, ch

Title: Do It! | Year Released: 2005 | Record Label: Concord Picante

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