Poncho Sanchez


Poncho Sanchez, vocals, congas; George Ortiz, timbales; Tony Banda, bass;

Serafin Aguilar, trumpet; Scott Martin, saxophone; Francisco Torres, trombone; Sal Vasquez, bongo; David Torres, piano. Featured guests: Ray Charles, vocals; Pee Wee Ellis, tenor saxophone; Fred Westley, trombone; Billy Preston, Hammond B3 organ; Dale Spalding, harmonica; Sam Moore, vocals; Francisco Aquabella, bata drums.

The Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band oozes funkiness, R&B sounds and Latin rhythms in this lively CD. Fabled R&B stars Ray Charles and Sam Moore are joined by the veterans of the funk sound, Fred Westley and Pee Wee Ellis. On the opening track, "One Mint Julip", they add their weight and experience to this funky Latin cha-cha. Billy Preston's Hammond organ slithers and slides over the tight horn section playing; an infectious dance number setting the tone for the whole set. "El Shing-A-Ling" continues the happy state of affairs, with colorful Latin percussion and a fat trombone solo from Francisco Torres. "JB's Strut" is a tribute to the enigmatic master of Funk; Fred Westley on trombone wades in on a blast to the old mentor of his Funk days. "Out Of Sight" rounds off the Brown tribute, with Sanchez singing the lead. The final piece, "El Tambor Del Mongo", is a tribute to the late Cuban percussionist and Sanchez role model. Unlike the other pieces, it has introspection added to the customary fine playing. This is a tight, upbeat, well-played set; a fine example of it's genre.

by Ferdinand Maylin

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