208

Bobby Sanabria / Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra: Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!!

Dan Bilawsky By

Sign in to view read count
Bobby Sanabria / Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra: Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!! If the Latin Jazz community had its own Mount Rushmore, then Tito Puente's face would be there, right beside the images of Machito and Mario Bauza. All three men are viewed as patriarchs and/or key figures in the evolution of the Afro-Cuban musical movement and, despite Puente being the only non-Cuban on that list, Bauzá himself paid him the ultimate compliment when he said that "no one in the world has done more for Afro-Cuban music than Tito Puente." While all three men have left this world, their music remains, and percussionist Bobby Sanabria—the ultimate advocate for Afro-Cuban music—is making sure that it makes its way to the masses.

Sanabria has become something of a Wynton Marsalis for the Latin jazz set, espousing the virtues and history of this music on PBS-aired documentaries, performing in a variety of high profile settings, and educating the next generation of musicians with his real-world experience and knowledge. When wearing his educator hat, Sanabria serves as the director of the Manhattan School of Music's Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra, but this is no mere college band. That phrase carries an apologetic tone, and this band has nothing to apologize for. Sanabria first unleashed an earlier incarnation of this explosive ensemble on the public, when he saluted Machito and Bauzá with Kenya Revisited (Jazzheads, 2009), and turns his attention toward Puente's oeuvre on this recording.

Power and passion play a big part in this music, and dance-worthy rhythms are always underneath it all. The horns can hit as hard as any section around, firing off volcanic chords that are capable of peeling paint off a wall, and this serves to demonstrate Sanabria's enthusiasm for the subject at hand, clearly seeping into every member of the band. Solos are plentiful on many selections and, while the members of the band put their hearts and souls into this fiery fare, some stand out more than others. Norman Edwards proves to be a double threat, delivering tasteful vibraphone lines ("Autumn Leaves") and dynamic drum work ("Mambo Beat") with equal skill, and baritone saxophonist Michael Sherman blows the roof off whenever he steps forward ("Mambo Beat" and Cuban Nightmare"). Paul Stodolka and Anthony Stanco constantly play the bold and brawny trumpet role to perfection, while each member of the saxophone section is in peak form on "Cuban Nightmare."

While Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!! is a fine tribute to the great Tito Puente, it goes beyond mere repertory rehash. Sanabria and his young stand mates have summoned the very spirit of Puente by putting a vibrant coat of paint on classic material from his catalog.


Track Listing: Intro/Elegua Chango; Picadillo; Bohemia (Birdland) After Dark; Autumn Leaves; Cuban Nightmare; Mambo Buddha; Ran Kan Kan; Alegre Cha-Cha-Cha; Ritual Fire Dance; Yambeque; Me Acuerdo De Ti; Mambo Beat; Mambo Adonis.

Personnel: Bobby Sanabria: conductor, musical director, drums (3, 4, 11), vibraphone (2), marimba (2), timbales (12), bombo (13), vocals; Daniel Jamieson: alto saxophone, soprano saxophone; Jonas Ganzemuller: alto saxophone; Alex Lopez: tenor saxophone; Benjamin Britton: tenor saxophone; Michael Sherman: baritone saxophone; Paul Stodolka: trumpet; Blake Martin: trumpet; Justin Walter: trumpet; Anthony Stanco: trumpet; Tim Vaughn: trombone; Luke Malewicz: trombone; Sam Bittner-Baird: trombone; Frank Cohen: bass trombone; Christian Sands: piano; Alex Salwach: bass; Norman Edwards: drums (1, 2, 5-10, 12, 13), vibraphone (3, 4, 11).

Year Released: 2011 | Record Label: Jazzheads | Style: Latin/World


Shop

More Articles

Read The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door CD/LP/Track Review The Sound of Surprise: Live at the Side Door
by Edward Blanco
Published: February 25, 2017
Read The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture CD/LP/Track Review The Angel and the Brute Sing Songs of Rapture
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Coldest Second Yesterday CD/LP/Track Review Coldest Second Yesterday
by John Sharpe
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Follow Your Heart CD/LP/Track Review Follow Your Heart
by Mark Corroto
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Chicago II CD/LP/Track Review Chicago II
by Doug Collette
Published: February 25, 2017
Read Over the Rainbow CD/LP/Track Review Over the Rainbow
by Paul Rauch
Published: February 24, 2017
Read "Brückenshlag" CD/LP/Track Review Brückenshlag
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: August 9, 2016
Read "Metamorphosis" CD/LP/Track Review Metamorphosis
by James Nadal
Published: July 10, 2016
Read "Chapters Of My Life" CD/LP/Track Review Chapters Of My Life
by James Nadal
Published: March 16, 2016
Read "Live At Umbria Jazz" CD/LP/Track Review Live At Umbria Jazz
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: June 10, 2016
Read "The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp" CD/LP/Track Review The Core Trio Live, featuring Matthew Shipp
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 20, 2016
Read "Two Of A Kind" CD/LP/Track Review Two Of A Kind
by Ian Patterson
Published: December 30, 2016

Post a comment

comments powered by Disqus

Sponsor: ECM Records | BUY NOW  

Support our sponsor

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!

Buy it!