Just Another Day In The Park

Jim Santella By

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Raul Rekow & Karl Perazzo
Warner Bros.

Using split-frame, picture-in-picture video mechanisms, percussionists Raul Rekow and Karl Perazzo are able to show the viewer how their 9-piece Salsa band works from the inside and out. Percussive song selections grip you with intensity, as the band flails away with rhythmic beats that accompany Spanish language vocals. Clinical demonstrations provide the curious listener and the percussion student with technical advice. Afro-Cuban chants and traditional rhythmic tools provide an all-encompassing view of this inherited music. The studio setting affords a clear view of every facet.

With only one horn, however, the band is forced to rely too heavily on vocals and percussion. While the DVD is in color, “Abaqua” is presented as a contrasting black & white piece. Both the visual and audio aspects turn gray and lose much of the intended vitality. The program then delivers four percussion selections in a row without horns and without vocals. Rekow, Perazzo and Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez show their chops, but the effect drags on with tedium.

How long should a percussion solo last?

These percussive tirades go on for much too long without a break. It’s like watching your windshield wipers while driving cross-country on a business trip.

With percussion alone, the performance becomes a clinical demonstration: dry, lengthy, physical, and tiring. With added vocals, their presentation becomes traditional, invoking the solemnity of the art. With keyboards, bass and trumpet added, the ensemble provides a better scenario. The whole ensemble only gets together, however, for three numbers, and the sound proves inadequate for each of those.

A typical day in the park needs no invitation; but this one offers no sensible reason for stopping by.

Approximate Running Time: 90 minutes.

Track Listing: Llego Mi Guajira; Rumba in the Park; Abaqua; Yambu; Palo Alto; WB@HPR.com-parsa; Rumba Culumbia; Bara su Wayo; Ya Ya.

Personnel:Raul Rekow- timbales, congas, lead vocals; Karl Perazzo- congas, lead vocals; Horacio “El Negro” Hernandez- drums, conga; Benny Rietveld- bass; Tony Lindsay- background vocals, percussion; Renato Neto, Francisco “Paquito” Hechavarria- piano; Jose Sibajo- trumpet; Edwin Bonilla- bongos, conga, chekere, percussion.

Special Features:
Artist Commentaries
Percussion Product Previews
Printable Glossary of Terms
Clinical demonstrations.


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