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 Displaced Diaspora CD/LP/Track Review
Displaced Diaspora
by Chris May
Published: October 19, 2018
Read In Real Time CD/LP/Track Review
In Real Time
by Jerome Wilson
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Freebird CD/LP/Track Review
Freebird
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read The Dream Thief CD/LP/Track Review
The Dream Thief
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Heuristics CD/LP/Track Review
Heuristics
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 19, 2018
Read Subtle Disguise CD/LP/Track Review
Subtle Disguise
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 18, 2018
Read "This City" CD/LP/Track Review This City
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: March 24, 2018
Read "ON Tour" CD/LP/Track Review ON Tour
by John Kelman
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming" CD/LP/Track Review The Music of Gary Lindsay / Are We Still Dreaming
by Jack Bowers
Published: September 20, 2018
Read "25th Anniversary Project" CD/LP/Track Review 25th Anniversary Project
by Geannine Reid
Published: February 22, 2018
Read "20" CD/LP/Track Review 20
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 30, 2018
Read "Out Of The Blues" CD/LP/Track Review Out Of The Blues
by Doug Collette
Published: July 29, 2018