All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

231

Poncho Sanchez: Raise Your Hand

By

Sign in to view read count
An album reflects an artistic personality; the creative mixture of past influences determines the current output. When Concord Records acquired the Rhythm 'n Blues label Stax, percussionist Poncho Sanchez gained access to musicians and repertoire that shaped his musical identity. This provided Sanchez the opportunity to paint a fuller picture of his artistic background. On Raise Your Hand, he brings his Latin jazz group together with several guest artists to mix Latin jazz, Salsa, and classic Rhythm 'n Blues tracks.

The Sanchez group performs most powerfully on the straight-ahead Latin jazz tracks. The band rides an up-tempo romp through blues changes on "Tropi Blue. Trombonist Francisco Torres' lengthy solo displays the Sanchez band's finest quality—a true connection with jazz history. Alto saxophonist Maceo Parker's biting tone, bluesy phrasing, and funky rhythmic ideas build into an exciting solo on the funky Cha Cha Cha "Maceo's House. The band creates a contemplative quality to the 6/8 feel on "Gestation. Saxophonist Javier Vergara improvises gracefully through syncopated rhythms and lush chord changes. These songs strongly uphold the high Latin jazz standard that Sanchez values.

The band stamps a distinctive mark on the Salsa tunes, balancing jazz aesthetics with a dance sensibility. "El Agua De Belen stands out as the album's hit dance tune. Vocalist Andy Montañez presents a confident and spontaneous vocal, while trumpet player Ron Blake's extended solo playfully works around the clave. "Amor Con Amor contains simplistic chord changes, but the band delivers the same drive and dedication. Sanchez provides a strong vocal and Torres plays an exciting solo. These songs create a balance to the Latin jazz, and the vocal emphasis diversifies the whole album.

The group plays solid R&B, but sacrifices its Latin jazz roots. Vocalist Eddie Floyd, organ player Booker T. Jones, and guitarist Steve Cropper help solidify a funky groove on "Raise Your Hand. The Motown classic "Shotgun contains vocals from Sanchez and Parker's bluesy sax licks. Floyd and Sanchez share vocals on "Knock on Wood, moving through a fairly stock arrangement. Despite solid performances, the band stagnantly reproduces old ideas on these songs and they seem strangely misplaced.

Sanchez deserves credit for exploring his musical heritage on Raise Your Hand. His band continues the Latin jazz tradition proudly; they balance equal doses of improvisation, tight arrangements, and solid Latin rhythm section work. The Salsa performances reflect a distinct decision about the mixture of jazz and dance music. The Rhythm 'n Blues tracks present a step back for Sanchez—a reproduction of an influence rather than an interpretation. This honest look into Sanchez's musical personality provides an interesting divide between past influence, current output, and creative application.


Track Listing: Raise Your Hand; Tropi Blue; Shotgun; El Agua De Belen; Rosarito; Maceo's House; D

Personnel: Poncho Sanchez: congas, bells, guiro, lead vocals (1, 3, 9, 10); David Torres: piano, Hammond B-3 Organ; Javier Vergara: tenor sax, alto sax, flute; Ron Blake: trumpet, flugelhorn; Francisco A. Torres: trombone, background vocals; George Ortiz: timbales; Joey De Le

Title: Raise Your Hand | Year Released: 2007 | Record Label: Concord Picante

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

Catching Up With
Live Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
DVD/Film Reviews
CD/LP/Track Review
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

Related Articles

Read You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To CD/LP/Track Review
You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: February 24, 2018
Read We Out Here CD/LP/Track Review
We Out Here
by Chris May
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Best of the Bootlegs 2017 CD/LP/Track Review
Best of the Bootlegs 2017
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read The Asylum Years CD/LP/Track Review
The Asylum Years
by Doug Collette
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Solo Contra CD/LP/Track Review
Solo Contra
by Daniel Barbiero
Published: February 24, 2018
Read Ellipse CD/LP/Track Review
Ellipse
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: February 23, 2018
Read "Threes" CD/LP/Track Review Threes
by Glenn Astarita
Published: November 24, 2017
Read "A Gathering Foretold" CD/LP/Track Review A Gathering Foretold
by Geannine Reid
Published: December 12, 2017
Read "Numbers" CD/LP/Track Review Numbers
by Mark Sullivan
Published: May 30, 2017
Read "The Lovers card" CD/LP/Track Review The Lovers card
by James Nadal
Published: August 15, 2017
Read "can't believe, won't believe" CD/LP/Track Review can't believe, won't believe
by Bruce Lindsay
Published: January 14, 2018
Read "Schönbrunn" CD/LP/Track Review Schönbrunn
by Tyran Grillo
Published: March 1, 2017