Learn How

We need your help in 2018

Support All About Jazz All About Jazz is looking for 1,000 backers to help fund our 2018 projects that directly support jazz. You can make this happen by purchasing ad space or by making a donation to our fund drive. In addition to completing every project (listed here), we'll also hide all Google ads and present exclusive content for a full year!

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

More Articles

Read La La Land DVD/Film Reviews La La Land
by Gareth Thomas
Published: October 17, 2017
Read Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl DVD/Film Reviews Jeff Beck: Live at the Hollywood Bowl
by Doug Collette
Published: October 7, 2017
Read Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015 DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Portrait Of An Album | Sinatra Sings
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First 40 Years DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At Carnegie Hall DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: The Royal Festival Hall (1962) | Live At...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Bob Dylan: No Direction Home - Deluxe 10th Anniversary  Edition" DVD/Film Reviews Bob Dylan: No Direction Home - Deluxe 10th Anniversary ...
by Doug Collette
Published: December 18, 2016
Read "Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First 40 Years" DVD/Film Reviews Frank Sinatra: Live From Caesar’s Palace | The First...
by Chris M. Slawecki
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017" DVD/Film Reviews I Called Him Morgan at Belfast Film Festival 2017
by Ian Patterson
Published: April 4, 2017
Read "Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the Fonda Theatre 2015" DVD/Film Reviews Rolling Stones From The Vault: Sticky Fingers Live at the...
by Doug Collette
Published: September 30, 2017
Read "I Called Him Morgan by Kasper Collin" DVD/Film Reviews I Called Him Morgan by Kasper Collin
by Christine Connallon
Published: March 24, 2017

Support All About Jazz's Future

We need your help and we have a deal. Contribute $20 and we'll hide the six Google ads that appear on every page for a full year!

Please support out sponsor