Dear All About Jazz Readers,

If you're familiar with All About Jazz, you know that we've dedicated over two decades to supporting jazz as an art form, and more importantly, the creative musicians who make it. Our enduring commitment has made All About Jazz one of the most culturally important websites of its kind in the world reaching hundreds of thousands of readers every month. However, to expand our offerings and develop new means to foster jazz discovery we need your help.

You can become a sustaining member for a modest $20 and in return, we'll immediately hide those pesky Google ads PLUS deliver exclusive content and provide access to future articles for a full year! This combination will not only improve your AAJ experience, it will allow us to continue to rigorously build on the great work we first started in 1995. Read on to view our project ideas...

196

Poncho at Montreux

Jim Santella By

Sign in to view read count
Poncho Sanchez
Poncho at Montreux
Concord Picante
2004

Poncho Sanchez looks great. He and his band simply don't age. They rock and swing with inexhaustible energy. Sitting at the congas leading his band, and singing from the Latin jazz tradition, he kicks off this indoor concert performance at the Montreux Jazz Festival with the same confidence and poise that has brought him from local neighborhood garage bands to worldwide acclaim. He gives his audience a superb performance every time out.

The camera pans left and right, moving up close and then backing off for full panorama shots, giving us a complete picture of the Sanchez organization in action. The leader's hands move deliriously to the rhythm of songs that honor the creative work of influential artists such as Willie Bobo, Mongo Santamaria, Cal Tjader, and James Brown. Timbales provide mesmerizing action, as the camera swings from one artist to the next. His three horn players sway cohesively to the music's rhythm as they provide a full harmonic sound.

Scott Martin turns his flute toward the piccolo range on salsa arrangements such as "Conmigo and "Guaripumpe, producing a high-wire tension that builds consistently. Similarly, high-note specialist Serafin Aguilar stretches the envelope on trumpet with a flair.

Between songs, the camera shifts elsewhere to informal conversations with Sanchez and friends, as they reminisce about the music and its driving force. Putting it all together comes quite naturally to this conguero, who's dedicated his life to Latin jazz. A brief film clip of the Cal Tjader ensemble with a youthful Sanchez sitting up front introduces "I Showed Them, a Tjader composition that represents the vibraphonist's Latin jazz sound well.

Sal Vazquez applies a strong dose of tradition on tres with "Conmigo, an Eddie Palmieri salsa tune that burns with foot-tappin' anticipation. James Brown's "Out of Sight features Sanchez as the song's emotional vocal lead. He's backed by tenor, trombone, trumpet and organ in a rollicking affair that turns the concert hall into a virtual high-rollin' nightclub for a period of time.

Watermelon Man closes the concert performance with a summary of the power that this band holds. Martin's churning alto solo and David Torres' sizzling keyboard/organ refrain create a sensation of family togetherness, as the band drives its Montreux audience into unconditional surrender.


Track Listing: One Mint Julep; El Shing-a-Ling; Guaripumpe; I Showed Them; Conmigo; Out of Sight; Watermelon Man.

Personnel: Poncho Sanchez: congas, percussion, lead vocals; David Torres: piano, organ; Tony Banda: bass, background vocals; George Ortiz: timbales; Sal Vazquez: bongos, congas, percussion, background vocals, tres; Serafin Aguilar: trumpet, flugelhorn; Scott Martin: alto saxophone, tenor saxophone, flute; Francisco Torres: trombone, background vocals, Dave Samuels: vibraphone on "I Showed Them.

Program notes: Directed by Romain Guélat; 60 minutes. Special features: Brief interviews with José Rizo, Jesse Varela, Robb Fisher, Vince Lateano and Edward James Olmos; Full-length interviews with Poncho Sanchez; Photo session; Biography; Discography.

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Catching Up With
Live Reviews
Album Reviews
Film Reviews
Album Reviews
Interviews
Album Reviews
Read more articles
Live In Hollywood

Live In Hollywood

Concord Picante
2012

buy
 

Chano Y Dizzy!

Concord Picante
2011

buy
 

Psychedelic Blues

Concord Picante
2009

buy
Raise Your Hand

Raise Your Hand

Concord Picante
2007

buy
Do It!

Do It!

Concord Picante
2006

buy
Do It!

Do It!

Concord Picante
2005

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Feb23Sat
Pete Carlson’s Jazz Series 2018-2019
Pete Carlson's Golf And Tennis
Palm Desert, CA
Jul18Thu
Poncho Sanchez
Blues Alley
Washington, DC
Jul18Thu
Poncho Sanchez
Blues Alley
Washington, DC
Jul19Fri
Poncho Sanchez
Blues Alley
Washington, DC
Jul19Fri
Poncho Sanchez
Blues Alley
Washington, DC
Jul20Sat
Poncho Sanchez
Blues Alley
Washington, DC
Jul20Sat
Poncho Sanchez
Blues Alley
Washington, DC

Shop

Start your shopping here and you'll support All About Jazz in the process. Learn how.

Related Articles

Film Reviews
Green Book: A Serious Comedy and Jazz Allegory
By Victor L. Schermer
December 28, 2018
Film Reviews
Home Invasion: In Concert at the Royal Albert Hall (2CD/Blu Ray)
By John Kelman
December 22, 2018
Film Reviews
Green Book Directed By Peter Farrelly
By Mike Perciaccante
December 3, 2018
Film Reviews
Rolling Stones: Voodoo Lounge Uncut
By Doug Collette
November 17, 2018
Film Reviews
Rolling Stone: Stories From The Edge - 50 Years of Defining Culture
By Doug Collette
October 7, 2018
Film Reviews
The US Festival 1982: The US Generation
By Doug Collette
September 2, 2018
Film Reviews
Lajos Dudas: Ein Künstlerportrait
By Mark Sullivan
August 26, 2018