VOICES Notes and news on Jazz releases
20 MAR 13 DAVID SHANNON
Pete Escovedo’s Concord Picante release, Live From Stern Grove Festival, is a bright and evocative live Latin jazz album recorded at the famed San Francisco venue in July 2012, fronted by Escovedo and backed by a luminary band, including guest legendary trumpeter Arturo Sandoval. The release also features performances by Escovedo’s percussionist daughter, Sheila E., as well as sons Peter Michael and Juan. The live atmosphere suits the album’s big sound, and Escovedo’s rousing selection of covers and originals brings the full power of the band to the fore.
The name Escovedo carries a lot of weight in the realm of entertainment. Hailing from San Diego, California, but calling the world of Latin music home, this brotherhood of natural performers has a long history of collaboration, although each brother is known for a distinct take on a wide range of music. Eldest sibling Pete Escovedo and his brothers Coke and Phil formed the Escovedo Brothers Latin Jazz Band in 1960, while younger siblings Alejandro, Mario, and Javier played with legendary '70s, '80s, and '90s underground punk acts the Nuns, the Dragons, and the Zeros. Alejandro Escovedo’s later career blended rock, soul, and Tex Mex.
Percussion also plays a major role in the family’s music. Carlos Santana hired Pete and Coke to play percussion in his group in 1972, and Prince made Sheila E. a household name when he hired her to tour and record with him as his Purple Rain album was about to turn the music world on its ear.