World & Latin

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Poncho Sanchez' Latest Spans Latin & Soul

21 MAY 07 JOHN C. BRUENING

Texas-born percussionist Poncho Sanchez has grown up with each of his creative feet firmly planted in two different worlds - one in the hot sounds of his Latin heritage and the other in the soul and R&B grooves of the Stax heyday, the most prominent and enduring American pop music of his youth. A full crew of luminaries from both worlds has a hand in his latest, Raise Your Hand.

The album combines Sanchez's bedrock Latin jazz style inherited from Cal Tjader (during his stint in Tjader's band in the late '70s), Tito Puente and Mongo Santamaria with the R&B and soul music that inspired him as a teenager in the 1960s. Stax soul shouter Eddie Floyd, along with keyboard icon Booker T. Jones and Jones' MG guitarist Steve Cropper, make an appearance on covers of two Floyd classics, "Knock On Wood" and the rousing title track.

Also on hand are Puerto Rican sonero Andy Montanez, Cuban vocalist Jose "Perico" Hernandez, and renowned saxophonist and James Brown stage foil Maceo Parker.

This is one party that'll put your hands in the air.