All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

157

Grupo Los Santos: Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea

Ernest Barteldes By

Sign in to view read count
Grupo Los Santos is a New York-based group that successfully looks at Latin and Brazilian jazz from an American point of view. The result is a mixed sonic bag that allows influences from funk and East Coast jazz into the music without compromising the general sound and feel.

At their CD release concert at New York's The Jazz Standard in January, 2008, they opened with "Boogie Down Broder," a tune by saxophonist Paul Carlon dedicated to the late salsa legend Juan Pablo Torres, who passed away in 2005. "Boogie is arguably the "hardest" track (both live and on disc) from a jazz point of view; both Carlon and guitarist Pete Smith improvising at the same time with the rhythm section keeping a firm beat behind them. Smith, on a 9-string acoustic instrument that serves as both guitar and bass, is clearly inspired both by Baden Powell and Charlie Byrd, while Carlon seems to channel Joe Henderson.

One of the highlights of the show was the album's opening track, "Rumba in the Bronx," a composition by drummer William "Beaver Bausch that features the tap talents of Max Pollak. On disc, Pollak's presence is only noticed during part of the tune, but his footwork on the track is nevertheless brilliant. Live, he stole the show by walking on stage singing an Afro-inspired chant and then performing solo. The group joined him four minutes later, playing a low-key but groovy rendition of the tune, keeping the dynamics low so as to hear Pollak better.

One of the most intriguing tracks on the disc is "Absurdities & Atrocities," an instrumental Bausch composition that stands out because of its Middle Eastern feel; live the composer added a vocal narration he called "The Red State Remix."

Though Grupo Los Santos' concept is not exactly original (many Americans have adapted Latin jazz to their own needs), they are energetic and committed—when they play a choro like "A Dança dos Santos," it doesn't sound like they are trying to copy the genre; instead the various styles the group brings together makes for a refreshing listening experience.

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).

Title: Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea | Year Released: 2008 | Record Label: Deep Tone Records

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Future Homage

Future Homage

Grupo Los Santos
Clave Heart

Entre Dongan Y Adren

Entre Dongan Y Adren

Grupo Los Santos
Clave Heart

CD/LP/Track Review
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
Lo Que Somos Lo Que Sea

Lo Que Somos Lo Que...

Deep Tone Records
2008

buy
Clave Heart

Clave Heart

OA2 Records
0

buy

Related Articles

Read Walk The Walk CD/LP/Track Review
Walk The Walk
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Vol II CD/LP/Track Review
Vol II
by Geno Thackara
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Months, Weeks and Days CD/LP/Track Review
Months, Weeks and Days
by Glenn Astarita
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Space Is The Place CD/LP/Track Review
Space Is The Place
by James Fleming
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Poetry in Motion CD/LP/Track Review
Poetry in Motion
by Liz Goodwin
Published: May 21, 2018
Read Murals CD/LP/Track Review
Murals
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: May 20, 2018
Read "Aladdin's Dream" CD/LP/Track Review Aladdin's Dream
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Elvesang" CD/LP/Track Review Elvesang
by John Kelman
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)" CD/LP/Track Review Uniting Beats (Ritmos Que Unen)
by Barry Witherden
Published: February 17, 2018
Read "Setembro" CD/LP/Track Review Setembro
by Roger Farbey
Published: September 26, 2017
Read "Departure" CD/LP/Track Review Departure
by Jack Bowers
Published: July 26, 2017
Read "You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!" CD/LP/Track Review You Eat My Food, You Drink My Wine, You Steal My Girl!
by Jerome Wilson
Published: February 18, 2018