221

Grupo Los Santos: Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea

By

Sign in to view read count
Grupo Los Santos: Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea Grupo Los Santos is a unique band. Its music is Latin through and through, and yet the musicians come from varying backgrounds. Guitarist Pete Smith has played with Norah Jones, Donald Byrd and Andrew Hill; bassist Dave Ambrosio has recorded with Uzbek and Kyrgyz folk musicians; saxophonist Paul Carlon leads his own band, playing everything from straight-ahead jazz to funk; and drummer William "Beaver" Bausch rounds out the core quartet, and is probably the most experienced in Latin musics. What they all share, however, is a certain raw energy that is front and center at the band's live shows and comes across well on record.

Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea (What We Are What Will Be), the group's second album, is first and foremost a jazz album. These are simply jazz musicians who share a passion for the Latin musics including son, rumba and bossa nova. But make no mistake, they are certainly capable of holding down a Latin (and any other sort of) groove.

"Rumba in the Bronx" commences the proceedings in understated fashion. The drums and percussion establish the groove, while the rest of the instruments slowly layer themselves in. Drummer, percussionist and Rumbatap pioneer Max Pollak, unofficially known as the fifth Santo, joins the group, and his contributions do not go unnoticed. The tune is aptly named, with a groove and a melody evoking the New York borough.

What is remarkable about this record is that at no point does the listener feel as if a band member is soloing. The group plays so fluidly together that each instrument is merely a layer adding to the overall sound. And the result is greater than the sum of its parts, as is the case with "Manna" and "Clave 66"—the former a more composed tune allowing the group to tackle some complex lines, the latter a long and winding journey, allowing each band member to flesh out his chops, with Smith's long, rhythmic solo the highlight of the album. The guitarist begins by evoking Kurt Rosenwinkel with his simple, contrapuntal soloing, and subsequently breaks down into a sort of funky riff, eventually building up to a crescendo that is well supported by Bausch.

Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea is a solid, interesting album from a very capable band that is deserving of more recognition. Few of the melodies are incredibly catchy or memorable, but the compositions and playing are of the highest quality and the band is remarkably tight for all the energy it brings to the table. The album holds the attention throughout and will appeal to Latin and straight-ahead enthusiasts alike. More will be heard from Grupo Los Santos.


Track Listing: Rumba in the Bronx; A Danca Dos Santos; Happified; Clave 66; Absurdities and Atrocities; Manna; Guajira Santa; Boogie Down Broder; Toreja Kulo; Pedrito La Vaca

Personnel: Paul Carlon: tenor sax; Pete Smith:electric and 9-string guitar; David Ambrosio: acoustic bass; William "Beaver" Bausch: drumset; Max Pollak: tap dance/"rumba tap" (1, 9).

Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Deep Tone Records | Style: Latin/World


Shop

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Dizzy Gillespie Dizzy Gillespie
trumpet
Ahmad Jamal Ahmad Jamal
piano
Miles Okazaki Miles Okazaki
guitar
Hendrik Meurkens Hendrik Meurkens
harmonica
Machito Machito
band/orchestra
Papo Vazquez Papo Vazquez
trombone
Rafi Malkiel
trombone
Marlon Simon Marlon Simon
percussion
Buena Vista Social Club Buena Vista Social Club
band/orchestra
Eric Person Eric Person
flute

More Articles

Read The Picasso Zone CD/LP/Track Review The Picasso Zone
by Franz A. Matzner
Published: February 23, 2017
Read The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark CD/LP/Track Review The MUH Trio – Prague After Dark
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Les Deux Versants Se Regardent CD/LP/Track Review Les Deux Versants Se Regardent
by John Sharpe
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Molto Bene CD/LP/Track Review Molto Bene
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 23, 2017
Read Fellowship CD/LP/Track Review Fellowship
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 22, 2017
Read E.S.T. Symphony CD/LP/Track Review E.S.T. Symphony
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 22, 2017
Read "Eros" CD/LP/Track Review Eros
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: September 15, 2016
Read "My Blue Soul" CD/LP/Track Review My Blue Soul
by James Nadal
Published: May 10, 2016
Read "Natural Perception" CD/LP/Track Review Natural Perception
by Edward Blanco
Published: September 5, 2016
Read "Buoyancy" CD/LP/Track Review Buoyancy
by Mark Corroto
Published: May 14, 2016
Read "Love Song" CD/LP/Track Review Love Song
by Mark Corroto
Published: September 20, 2016
Read "Duo" CD/LP/Track Review Duo
by Victor L. Schermer
Published: June 9, 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!