Latin Jazz, what can I say - I love the excitement of the percussion and vibrancy of the horns. I typically enjoy good Latin music with very little exception. So, when I received Layla Angulo's new release, Live at the Triple Door, I was excited and anxious at the same time.
Excited, because the person Layla Angulo is as sexy as mysterious; anxious, to see if the CD had what it took to make people get past her looks. I can only tell you Layla has and continues to pay her dues. Her webpage say's that Layla was born in Louisiana, and raised in a variety of locales - Boston, Los Angeles, and Seattle. Layla started her musical journey at the age of five, finding the saxophone at the young age of ten. By the time she was fourteen, Layla had begun performing at jazz clubs in Boston.
Finishing a formal music education, Layla continued her professional life in Europe. She took Spain by storm and continued gobbling up the cultural musicality’s of her new peers. Determined that she must lead her own band, her first release The Layla Angulo Sextet, combined the rhythms of Afro-Peruvian and Latin jazz, taking it into entirely new realms.
Layla and the band remain primarily in the Pacific Northwest, tantalizing audiences of all sizes. A recent highlight in her career, Layla shared the stage with Tony Bennet, at the 75th Anniversary Gala of the Paramount Theatre.
Layla's newest release, Live at the Triple Door, is a collection of mostly original arrangements, showcasing the band in a live recording. The inclusion of Eddie Palmieri's 'Muneca' pays homage to the artform that set Ms. Angulo in her musical direction. This recording clearly documents the leadership and musical capabilities of this dynamic young lady.
Layla's website suggests that she may very well be the only female saxophonist, composing her own music for a large band. This may be true, I cannot say - but she is certainly one of a handful of women instrumentalists performing in the Latin Jazz genre, and doing a terrific job at it.