Latin jazz drummer and band leader Pancho Sanchez can always be counted upon to record solidly entertaining Latin jazz albums, and Out of Sight keeps his proud reputation alive. This has more of a '60s retro-soul feel than any of his previous twenty one albums, with guest shots by Ray Charles (on a funky latin version of "Mary Ann") and horn men Pee Wee Ellis and Fred Wesley from the old James Brown band.
But the big name guests are really just icing on the cake. This is essentially a primo dance album glued together by the ferociously danceable grooves established by Sanchez's eight-man band. The leader executes some gruff vocals and drums his heart out. The session has a delightfully playful feel, maintaining a fusion of cha cha cha, boogaloo and R&B that is seriously catchy without the musicians taking themselves too seriously. Yet the moving final cut, "El Tambor Del Mondo," seems to come out of a different state of mind: a kind of ambituously conceived mini- concerto grosso for drums and brassy band, a reminder how Sanchez is always an evolving artist worth hearing seriously.
One Mint Julep; El Shing-a-Ling; Hitch it to the Horse; Saints & Sinners; Mary Ann; Not Necessarily;
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