Tuesday, August 1, 2000

Review - Latin Soul

Artist: Pancho Sanchez

Posted on Tue, Aug 1, 2000 at 4:00 AM

After 17 albums of masterful percussion, Pancho Sanchez has been called the keeper of the Latin flame. Indeed, "Latin Soul" is a combustible testament to a heart and soul on fire.

Recorded live at the Conga Room in Los Angeles, Sanchez's ensemble meets his trademark intensity with spectacular trombone, trumpet, sax and piano improvisations, all driven by a relentless Afro-Cuban pulse. The covers of Herbie Hancock's "Watermelon Man" (thick with a prowling, strutting tumbao' groove) and Mongo Santamaria's "Besame Mama" show off Sanchez's innovative approach to Latin-jazz tradition. His musicians conjure up the big-band roar on "Ican," its harmonies punctuated with delightfully crazy counterpoints.

A true magician, Sanchez essays every song with a power that leaves your hips trying to catch up with your feet.

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