Monday, September 28, 2009

Poncho Sanchez - Psychedelic Blues (Concord, 2009)

Poncho Sánchez, a giant on the Latin jazz scene, has developed into something of an elder statesman on that scene, and this is his 24th album for the Concord label. Melding Latin music, jazz, salsa and a host of other influences, Sanchez plays congas with Andrew Synowiec on guitar, David Torres on keyboards; Javíer Vergara on saxophones, Ron Blake on trumpet and flugelhorn, Francisco Torres on trombone, Tony Banda on bass and vocals, George Ortiz on timbale; and Joey De León on percussion and vocals. The album starts strong, with a wonderful cover of Herbie Hancock's "Cantaloupe Island" which keeps the beautiful melody intact while adding an extra layer of percussion and groove. "Psychedelic Blues" would seem to elude to some type of retro sixties style, but despite the name it is a fast paced and soulful performance that doesn't sound at all dated. F. Torres makes the most of a very nice solo spot on "Silver's Serenade" as do the rest of the horn section and D. Torres who works a Latin feel into Horace Silver's great funky composition. Most of this album works quite well and should appeal to fans of Latin jazz as well as mainstream jazz. Some of the vocals seemed a little cheesy to me at times, but that is a small quibble on what is otherwise a pretty successful album.
Psychedelic Blues - amazon.com

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