Latin jazz has its champion. Poncho Sanchez is one of those unique leaders who has never let the jazz go out of Latin jazz. From the lessons he learned from the remarkable examples set forth by Cal Tjader, Mongo Santamaria and other pioneers, Papa Gato, as he is affectionately called by those close to him, has carried the torch since he formed his own band in 1982. No one does it better.
This new release includes several other major influences on the sass and style of Poncho Sanchez. As a baby boomer coming up in Southern California during the years when Motown and Elvis and surf guitar and doo-wop ruled the airwaves, Sanchez was gathering an eclectic arsenal, which he would later incorporate into his band’s repertoire. From its inception, his ensemble has emphasized funk and fire along with heartfelt ballads and the spirit of the blues.
Guests Dale Spaulding, Ray Charles, Fred Wesley, Pee Wee Ellis, Billy Preston and Sam Moore help Sanchez interpret his love of the blues, soul, and funk. Together, the ensemble and guests weave these special styles together seamlessly. Ellis and Wesley, who sit in for “One Mint Julep,” “Hitch it to the Horse,” “Mary Ann,” “JB’s Strut,” and ‘Out of Sight,” are made to feel right at home, as the band struts and shouts.
The session also includes traditional pieces that are destined to keep the Latin flame alive. Vocals, folkloric rhythms, and powerful percussion authority drives the program forward. Highly recommended, Out of Sight brings in so many diverse musical elements that it makes the melting pot simmer with flavors that will never be forgotten.
Track Listing: One Mint Julep; El Shing-a-Ling; Hitch it to the Horse; Saints & Sinners; Mary Ann; Not Necessarily;
Personnel: Poncho Sanchez- congas, percussion, lead vocals; David Torres- piano, Hammond B3 organ; Tony
Banda- bass, background vocals; George Ortiz- timbales; Sal Vasquez- bongos, congas,
percussion, background vocals, tres; Serafin Aguilar- trumpet, flugelhorn; Scott Martin- alto
saxophone, tenor saxophone, baritone saxophone, flute; Francisco Torres- trombone, background
vocals; Guests: Pee Wee Ellis- tenor saxophone; Fred Wesley- trombone; Ray Charles- vocals on
I love jazz because next to my kids, it's the love of my life.
I was first exposed to jazz by Joe Rico from a tiny station in Niagara Falls in 1954 when I was 13.
The best show I ever attended was Maynard Ferguson who blew the roof off Massey Hall in the late 50s.
My advice to new listeners is to listen to everything you can and then listen again.