Latin Spirits

Latin Spirits

by Poncho Sanchez



Much marketing ado will no doubt be made over the wonderful dream-come-true nature of the legendary conguero's pairing with jazz piano great Chick Corea, in a setting which brings the latter back to his roots playing with Mongo Santamaria in the '60s. And the two Corea-touched tracks are definite highlights. He wrote the jumpy, heavy-chorded jam title track, which finds him doing call and response with feisty horns as Sanchez pitter patters fancifully in the background; the piano improvisations between these interactions are characteristically mind-boggling, as Corea switches off from bebop to hardcore Latin ivory sweeps. He also tackles the frisky Wayne Shorter piece "Juju," dipping and swooping over and under the horns as, once again, Sanchez works up a frenzy all around him. But Sanchez' vision extends way beyond just the Corea songs, as he creates an exciting travelogue through various styles that go beyond just Latin jazz. "Sambia" is sassy Havana salsa all the way, but the bluesy "Next Exit" -- featuring David Torres on piano -- is what might happen if Ramsey Lewis found himself at a Latin jazz party. The fun part of being a percussionist is surrounding yourself with brilliant soloists, and Sanchez picks a true winner in saxman Scott Martin, whose rich baritone drives "Next Exit." "Going Back to New Orleans" is all party blues with shouting voices and a Dr. John-like vocal by Dale Spalding. "Quieres Volver" is a dreamy romance set firmly in San Juan, with strings and Sanchez' own raspy vocals. Tucked deep into the disc are two other can't-miss spots on the itinerary: the festive Manhattan-styled jaunt "Tito in the City" (an obvious tribute to the mastery of Tito Puente) and the funky, struttin' "Early in the Morning," which recalls Louis Jordan's Calypso jive circa the mid-'40s (also featuring Spalding on lead vocals). Just when you think this disc can't get any better, Sanchez delights in making every next note and tour stop a surprise.

Product Details

Release Date: 09/11/2001
Label: Concord Records
UPC: 0013431498124
catalogNumber: 4981

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Poncho Sanchez   Primary Artist,Percussion,Conga,Vocals
Bruce Malament   Piano
Ramon Banda   Timbales
Tony Banda   Bass,Background Vocals
Armando Anthony Corea   Piano
James Gadson   Drums
Tom Gargano   Bass
Scott Martin   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
Ricardo "Tiki" Pasillas   Timbales
Lon Price   Alto Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Tenor Saxophone
David Torres   Piano,Hammond Organ,Musical Direction
Randy Waldman   Strings
David Spalding   Harmonica,Vocals
Francisco Torres   Trombone,Background Vocals
José Papo Rodríguez   Percussion,Bongos,Background Vocals
Ledisi   Vocals

Technical Credits

Joe Liggins   Composer
John Burk   Producer,Executive Producer
Bernie Kirsh   Engineer
Scott Martin   Arranger
Lon Price   Arranger
Poncho Sanchez   Arranger,Producer
David Torres   Arranger
Randy Waldman   String Arrangements
Bill Milkowski   Liner Notes
Francisco Torres   Arranger
Glen Barros   Executive Producer

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