VOICES Notes and news on Jazz releases
24 OCT 12 CHRIS SLAWECKI
Recorded during the summer of 2012 outdoor festival season, Poncho Sanchez & His Latin Jazz Band's Live In Hollywood (Concord Picante) celebrates the Afro-Cuban conguero and impresario's 30th anniversary recording for Concord Music Group.
A most humble man, Sanchez chooses his own celebration to pay tribute to two musicians who greatly impacted his life and music, Clare Fischer and Mongo Santamaria. Fischer appeared alongside Sanchez on many Cal Tjader albums; on this set, the conguero calls him "one of the world's greatest composer-arrangers and pianists" before reveling in Fischer's famously bright "Morning." Santamaria was such an influence on Poncho that Sanchez named his son Mongo. Sanchez paints this reverent rendition of Santamaria's "Afro Blue," the Afro-Cuban jazz classic that's been covered by McCoy Tyner, John Coltrane and so many other jazz giants, in simply perfect strokes of color and light.
Live In Hollywood also features the medley "Mambo Inn/On Green Dolphin Street" that is played as cleverly as it is titled, plus Sanchez' unique take on the blues, with his Afro-Cuban percussion and rhythms adding special spice to Albert King's loping, sultry and sexual "Crosscut Saw."
Other live titles in Sanchez' Concord catalog include A Night With Poncho Sanchez Live: Bailar (Concord Picante, 1993), Poncho At Montreux (Concord Picante, 2004) and A Night At Kimball's East (Concord Picante, 1991). Latin Soul (Concord Picante) won the Best Latin Album of 1999 Grammy award. Sanchez will receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Latin Recording Academy in November 2012.