We start with the group Cuban Roots performing "Just Another Guajira"with Omar Sosa on Piano ,a tribute to the first Cuban Roots Recording originally done in 1967 which has become a underground classic. There are two contributions from Los Angeles based Bobby Matos: "Kimbisa" and "I Don’t Speak Spanish", with John Santos, featuring a reading of the lyrics by Denise Cook. I was blessed to hear them perform this live at the Calle Diez Latin Jazz Festival in San Diego. The undulating Denise Cook redefined the meaning of sultry. Her show stopping dancing was only surpassed by the sheer intelligence and musicality of the lyrics.
Another West Coast based Cuban Legend; Mantanzas born Francisco Aguabella contributes "My Favorite Things" from his latest release "Cubacan", with an arrangement that builds on the original concept with fresh ideas. From Ray Armando we hear "Mallet Hands" the title track from his debut album produced by Bobby Matos. Conguero Johnny Blas contributes his original "Skin & Bones", the title track to his second recording as a leader with four trombones and Dave Pike on Vibes.
We also hear "My Dream Boogaloo" from Pucho & Latin Soul Bros. Timbalero Pucho Brown featured strongly in the Latin Boogaloo movement of the 60’s that brought together Latin Jazz and Funk styles. He vanished into obscurity when the style faded but recently has been touring the world with his group. There is an original tune by Juan Jose" from Trombonist Papo Vazquez showing the fusion of progressive Jazz influenced by John Coltrane and J.J. Johnson.
Harlem’s "Har You Percussion Group" only recorded one album in the 70’s but it has become a collector’s item and from that we hear "Barrets Bag". Derf Reklaw is a composer, choreographer, lecturer, vocalist and inventor as well as musician. He resides in LA’s Leimert Park a Jazz Mecca on the West Coast, and we hear "Tresguanco (for Iris Pell)" from his recording" The Nile. Dave Pike performs on Marimba "Back To The Roots" from his second Cubop Album " Peligroso. There is a cut from Percussionist Snowboy who is originally from the United Kingdom. He recorded a tribute to Tito Puente which includes a rendition of "42nd and Broadway"
San Diego based Jack Costanza is one of the senior members of the Latin Jazz Community who was born in Chicago in the mid 20’s and has been playing bongos sense he was 13 years old. You do the math. He known for his brilliant smile and sense of fun. "Bemba Colora" features many other San Diego musicians including the amazing Gilbert Castellanos on trumpet.
Many of these are classic tracks you won’t hear anywhere else. Buy it, you will love it. Que suave!!